Actually, Philly Cabs Are Great

Photograph by Jeff Fusco

Photograph by Jeff Fusco

Early one morning in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a few months ago, I hopped in a cab and asked the driver to take me to Logan Airport, eight miles away. He asked me how to get there. That was the first bad sign. The second bad sign was that he abruptly changed his mind about needing my help and decided to chart the course himself. Thirty minutes later, we were still in the car, making a beeline for Rhode Island. I shouldn’t have been surprised. Not long before, another out-to-lunch driver had piloted the trip to Logan at a pace so slow, I actually had to check to see if he was awake.

The point of all this is not that Boston-area cabdrivers are horrific. It’s my anecdotal “Exhibit A” in the case of Simon van Zuylen-Wood v. All the Delusional Philadelphians Who Don’t Appreciate Their Fantastic Taxis. Bitching about cabs in Philly is roughly on par with Yay, the Shore and Boo, Phillies when it comes to broad, unspecific elevator-ride utterances nobody will ever disagree with.

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Parking in Philly Should Be Harder. And Cost Way More.

Illustration by Melissa McFeeters

Illustration by Melissa McFeeters

A car is the ultimate entitlement machine — particularly when driven by a Philadelphian.

Can’t you hear it now? “Parking here is so expensive.” “Why is it so impossible to park in Queen Village?” “Seriously, is the Parking Authority a division of the Gestapo or something?”

Garbage, all of it. (Except, maybe, for the bit about the Parking Authority.) Read more »

Pennsylvania Considers Cease-and-Desist Order for Uber

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We don’t hear from Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission all that often these days, since they ceded control of Philadelphia’s taxicabs to the Philadelphia Parking Authority 10 years ago. But now, the state agency, which tends to spend most of its time regulating the telecommunication and energy industries in Pennsylvania, has popped up with complaints about Uber, the San Francisco-based car service company that has built a fiercely loyal following in the Philadelphia region. Read more »

PPA Will Stop Selling Smart Cards Today

“As the Parking Authority warned back in February, Smartcards are going away — and today is the last day you can buy them,” CBS Philly reports. “The Parking Authority will stop selling pre-paid smartcards after today because sales of the cards plummeted in recent years with the advent of parking kiosks. The kiosks, in Center City and University City, accept credit cards, and most drivers use that or cash, says PPA deputy executive director Corinne O’Connor.”

My Lousy Driving Is Costing You Money

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When I drive I sometimes go over the speed limit. When I park in the city I sometimes overstay my time. On occasion I’ve been guilty of texting while driving.  I’m rarely caught. I hardly ever pay fines. Do you blame me? That’s understandable. But don’t just blame me. Blame the city. Blame your township. Blame Harrisburg. They’re not doing enough to catch guys like me when I do the wrong thing behind the wheel. All it takes is a little technology, a few changes in the law and a different approach:

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Snow Emergency Over, But PPA Is Still Being Nice

From the Philadelphia Parking Authority:

PPA will enforce only safety violations today. Tickets will be issued for any safety violations. Meters, kiosks and timed zones will not be enforced today.

All parking regulations will be enforced beginning tomorrow morning at 7am. This includes meters, kiosks and times zones. Towing and impoundment of illegally parked vehicles in Tow Away Zones will resumes tomorrow morning.

All parking regulations will be enforced on Sunday and Monday (Presidents Day) including towing of vehicles parked in tow zones.

The $5 snow rate in PPA garages will end tomorrow morning at 8:30am.

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