PPA Announces Renewed Crackdown on Uber and Lyft, Waives Some Taxi Regs

Uber app display during DNC in Philadelphia. | Photo by Fabiola Cineas

Uber app display during DNC in Philadelphia. | Photo by Fabiola Cineas

All good things come to an end.

Now that Uber and Lyft’s short and sweet grace period has ended with the expiration of Act 85, the Philadelphia Parking Authority has announced that it fully intends to resume enforcement against the ride-sharing companies – as well as lift several regulations against the taxi industry. Read more »

Dept. of Minor Miracles: Nobody Is Parked on the Broad Street Median Today

Look Ma, no cars in the median! | Photos: Holly Otterbein

Look Ma, no cars in the median! | Photos: Holly Otterbein

This morning, South Philly residents awoke to see something most of them had never seen in their lifetimes: South Broad Street completely free of parked cars in its median.

That was the first miracle. The second was this: the Philadelphia Parking Authority only had to tow away a handful of them.  Read more »

PPA: We’ll Tow Your Car If You Park In the Middle of Broad Street During DNC

Photograph by Claudia Gavin

Photograph by Claudia Gavin

People have been parking their cars in the middle of Broad Street for as long as anyone can remember, even though it’s against the law. It’s just one of those Philly things, and one that has apparently been going on for at least 100 years. But one agency known best for killing everyone’s fun has announced that your car will be towed if you attempt to park it on the South Broad Street median during the Democratic National Convention. Read more »

PPA: Uber Can Operate Legally During SEPTA Troubles


The Philadelphia Parking Authority will allow Uber to operate legally throughout the coming weeks while SEPTA runs on a heavily adjusted schedule that has left Regional Rail commuters struggling to reach their destinations.

The PPA offered Uber a detente on Tuesday, according to the Inquirer, meaning the app that lets passengers hail drivers from their phones can operate under legal circumstances temporarily.

In April, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission fined Uber $11.4 million for doing business in the city without authority. Just last week, legislators refrained from voting on a bill that would fully legalize Uber services. It could be called to a vote after summer recess. Read more »

Activists: Uber and Lyft Tax Should Fund Philly Schools, Not the PPA

Hannah Sassaman of the Media Mobilizing Project address the Parking Authority. Photo by Jared Brey.

Hannah Sassaman of the Media Mobilizing Project addresses the Parking Authority. | Photo by Jared Brey

Public school advocates packed the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s monthly board meeting on Tuesday to question a change in a state bill that would allow ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate in Philadelphia — and drive a guaranteed fee to the PPA with little or nothing left for the school district.

Philly Mag reported on Monday that the state bill was initially written so that the school district and PPA would share a 1 percent tax on ride-sharing revenues, with two-thirds going to the district and one-third to the PPA. But a version approved by a state House committee earlier in May changed those provisions so that the PPA would be guaranteed a $2 million yearly fee from each of the largest ride-sharing companies, while the schools would get a portion of what’s left over. According to current estimates of how much revenue the tax would generate, it’s unlikely that there would be much, if any, money left for the schools.

“There is no place in this world wherein a new revenue stream should go to the Parking Authority ahead of the school district,” Councilwoman Helen Gym told the board Tuesday morning. Read more »

Morning Headlines: Underground Transformer Fire Knocked Out Power in Center City


Photo | Philly 311

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know:

An underground transformer fire plunged parts of Rittenhouse into darkness. What city officials called an underground transformer explosion caused a fire at the evening rush hour in the 2100 block of Walnut Street. According to a story on Philly.com, the fire knocked out power to about 400 customers in the 2000 and 2100 blocks of Walnut Street; 6ABC reports that the outage even affected last night’s performance of Rain at the Merriam Theater. Several buildings surrounding the site of the fire were evacuated for about two hours. As of this morning, PECO’s outage map reports the probable cause as an “underground cable problem”; 91 customers remain without power, which the utility expects to restore by noon. Read more »

The PPA Is Immediately Buying $300K Worth of Snow-Removing Bobcats

Washington Square West - Philadelphia - snow - 2016

The PPA will purchase smaller front-end loaders to assist with the snow removal effort. | Photo by Dan McQuade

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story erroneously overstated the cost of Bobcat front-end loaders and the total amount the PPA was spending on them. Philadelphia magazine apologizes for the error.  

The Philadelphia Parking Authority approved an emergency resolution Tuesday afternoon to throw a little more of its own muscle at clearing the city’s streets.

The resolution, passed at the PPA board’s regular monthly meeting, authorizes the immediate purchase of six Bobcat front-end loaders to clear snow from city streets at a cost of $50,000 per vehicle. Read more »

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