Uber and Lyft Bill Passes Final Legislative Hurdle

Gov. Wolf has already said he will sign the bill, which would enact a 1.4 percent tax on all Uber and Lyft rides to benefit Philadelphia schools and the PPA.

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The Pennsylvania Senate yesterday voted overwhelmingly to approve legislation that would, with Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature, make Uber and Lyft legal in Pennsylvania.

Wolf has already said he will sign the bill, which passed the House of Representatives last week and will set the framework for regulating the ride-sharing companies. The bill would enact a 1.4 percent tax on all Uber and Lyft rides that would benefit the School District of Philadelphia and the PPA.

Wolf released a statement on the bill last night:

“I am pleased the legislature worked with me to finally pass a long-term solution for ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate everywhere in Pennsylvania. The commonwealth has proven itself to be a place where these companies can invest and grow, and we must continue to find ways to fuel the development of these and other high-tech companies. We can do this by fostering an economic climate like we have seen in Pittsburgh that has resulted in the surge of tech development.

It is also encouraging that this legislation puts an end to any question about the operations of these companies in Philadelphia. Equally important is that two-thirds of the revenue derived from ride sharing in the city of Philadelphia will go to the Philadelphia School District to help the district continue to strengthen its financial footing. This funding, on top of the additional $97 million I worked to secure in my first two budgets for the school district, will help provide the resources our children need.

I applaud the legislature for passing this into law and I look forward to signing the bill.”

The bill’s looming passage into law follows a long and contentious battle between Uber and Lyft and Philadelphia’s taxi force, which has advocated for stricter regulations against the ride-sharing companies for years. Uber and Lyft were given a short grace period this past summer with Act 85, put in place largely because of the Democratic National Convention and the SEPTA Regional Rail transportation crisis, but the companies became illegal again this month.

Lyft spokesperson Chelsea Harrison called the vote “a win for drivers, passengers and communities across Pennsylvania.”

“This is also a huge victory for Philadelphia’s schools, one that will help bring in millions of dollars for the district,” Harrison said. “We applaud the Senate for their commitment to expanding transportation options for all Pennsylvanians, and call on Governor Wolf to act quickly in signing this framework into law.”

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

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