How Car Sharing Can Solve Philly’s Parking Problems

Reserved car-sharing parking in Milan, Italy. Source: Shutterstock.com

Reserved car-sharing parking in Milan, Italy. Source: Shutterstock.com

When City Council approved a new zoning code back in 2012, advocates for a more walkable, cycling- and transit-friendly city had mixed reactions to the code’s new parking regulations. Although adjustments were made to decrease the city’s parking requirements — allowing developers to build a minimum of one parking space for every three residential units, rather than the one-to-one requirement previously in place — the new code didn’t include parking maximums. Developers were still given the option of including as many spaces as they wanted, so long as they didn’t undercut the minimums.

Less discussed were provisions in the new code that require for developers to provide at least one dedicated parking spot for car-share services (like Zipcar) for every 100 residential units or 100,000 square feet of office space. The code also included car sharing incentives for developers, giving them the option to reduce the overall number of parking spots if more dedicated car-share spots were created.

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No More Stinky, Old, Beat Up Cabs for Philadelphia?

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Anyone (okay, almost anyone) who rides taxicabs in Philadelphia with any frequency knows that compared to other major cities, our cabs are pretty terrible, which is part of the reason that services like Uber, UberX and Lyft are so damn popular here. Why on earth would you want to take a dirty old cab when these newfangled car services are so convenient, modern and clean? Read more »

Uber Helping PPA Bust UberX Drivers

An UberX car getting impounded by the PPA.

An UberX car getting impounded by the PPA. Photo | Courtesy of the PPA

Two weeks ago, UberX drivers in the Philadelphia area received an email from Uber HQ telling them that if they wanted to remain Uber “partners,” they needed to comply with some new requirements. First, they would have to get a special PennDOT safety inspection. And second, they would need to display an Uber decal on their car. Read more »

As Lyft Launches, Taxi Association Issues Warning to Drivers

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Lyft — lauded just yesterday in a unanimous resolution by Philadelphia City Council — is scheduled to launch at 6 p.m. today, and, like UberX before it, over protestations and promises of impoundment from the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

Which is no doubt why we just received this rather ominous statement/warning to Lyft drivers from Dave Sutton of Who’s Driving You, a “public safety initiative of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association”:

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City Council: We Want UberX, Lyft

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With ride-hailing service Lyft scheduled to launch today at 6 p.m. to compete with UberX, City Council yesterday passed a resolution that states in no uncertain terms that the city would like to see such services legal in Philadelphia.

When UberX launched here in October, chaos ensued, as the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which regulates taxi and limousine service in the city and considers such services illegal, impounded several cars of UberX drivers. The mayor urged peace; the president of the Pennsylvania Taxi Association compared UberX to Isis; the PPA suggested that drivers for the sanctioned Uber black-car service rat out UberX drivers; and things have been uneasy ever since.

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Lyft Is Launching in Philadelphia on Friday

Photo via Lyft

Photo via Lyft

Ride-hailing service Lyft announced today that it will launch its service in Philadelphia on Friday, January 30th. The company had been advertising for drivers in Philadelphia this month.

Lyft is the chief competitor to Uber. Lyft is not a premium “black car” service — it is more like UberX, where passengers get rides in cars that generally aren’t luxury vehicles. Lyft has rolled out a premium service in some areas. In anticipation of the rollout of Lyft, UberX lowered its prices by 35 percent a few days ago.

The service begins at 6 p.m. Friday. To use it, you’ll need the Lyft app.

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Your UberX Driver May Be a Deranged Killer (and May Charge You Surge Pricing)

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Since the Philadelphia Parking Authority impounded six UberX cars last weekend and then released them, there’s been nary a peep from the PPA about the controversial car service, which now seems to be operating with impunity here. I alone have used UberX several times this week within city limits, and it seems like the “cheaper-than-taxi” alternative is here to stay. Here’s what you need to know.

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