As is the case with most things that involve my phone, I was late to the UberX game.
It’s not that I didn’t have a use for the popular ride-share service. Since moving to Queen Village, I’ve taken to calling a cab for everything that doesn’t warrant giving up my parking space — which is to say, well, everything. And although I’ve always found Philly’s cab drivers to be somewhere between pleasant-enough and unlikely-to-wear-my-face, I don’t necessarily have an attachment to them, either.
It’s just that when you’re working with a rusty iPhone 4 that has bravely decided to stay by your side, you think twice before downloading new apps. Or running risky updates. Or removing the duct tape.
But last Thursday, Uber was delivering adoptable puppies as a fundraiser for the PSPCA. The time to hesitate was through. Read more »
An UberX car getting impounded by the PPA.
Ever since UberX debuted in Philadelphia proper in October of last year, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which has authority over all taxis and limousines in the city, has maintained that the hugely popular car service is illegal. PPA investigators have impounded dozens of UberX cars and cited their drivers in sting operations, and Uber has fought those actions in court. Well, the judge in those cases recently began issuing rulings, and he has sided against Uber every single time. Read more »
1. Parking kiosk down again? No problem.
The gist: PlanPhilly reports that the Philadelphia Parking Authority has picked a company — Pango USA — to provide a pay by phone parking service. The cost to the consumer is one cent per transaction, PlanPhilly reports. The system could be ready to go within 60 days, but will be piloted between 4th and 20th Streets and Arch and Locust Streets first. Read more »
Philadelphians should be getting a lot less of these soon.
It’s not every day (or any day, really) that I find myself saying good things about the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Yes, it’s got a rep as a tyrannical organization that shows no remorse (or mercy) with its monopoly on parking tickets and towing in the city. But, the PPA is working hard on a mobile app that will allow users to pay for parking at meters or in lots with their smartphones — and that’s got to be applauded.
On Thursday, the PPA announced a partnership with Pango to deliver the new payment option. The PPA said it was selected from five vendors and allows the PPA to share in advertising revenue generated from the app.
Read more »
The Philadelphia Parking Authority wants to offer a new smartphone app that would nearly automate the process of paying for on-street parking, but it has run into opposition from the Nutter Administration. Turns out the city that gave the world Parking Wars depends on some friction in the process.
Otherwise, officials say, it’ll be hard to raise money for Philadelphia public schools. KYW reports: Read more »
Clothespin photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia | Broad-Ridge Spur map via SEPTA | Milton Street photo by Jeff Fusco | Lenfest Plaza photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia
In some parts of the country, I can see how April Fool’s Day has the potential to be fun. Everyone likes a good prank, and even a lame one deserves some credit on a sleepy Wednesday afternoon.
But in Philly? This city messes with our heads year-round.
I’m not talking about the cute, folksy, “how-weird-is-Philly?!” stuff that populates Buzzfeed lists. If you’ve spent 15 minutes here, the Mummers make perfect sense: glitter, feathers, booze. So does Wing Bowl: meat, boobs, booze. (Was that really so hard? Act like you know and let’s never speak of this again.)
No, I’m talking about the arbitrary, home-grown psychological warfare that Philadelphia wages on a daily basis, seemingly for sport.
Every day is April Fool’s Day around these parts, and after enduring the below petty mind games, we owe it to each other to abstain from the holiday. Or, at the very least, direct all of our efforts toward the PPA. Read more »
The taxi business apparently isn’t what it used to be in Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania Parking Authority in May will start selling cab medallions — the licenses required to own and operate a cab in the city — starting at $50,000 for a minimum bid. That might sound like a lot, but it pales compared to the $475,000 per medallion that the PPA tried (and failed) to sell just last fall.
PPA’s “General Counsel Dennis Weldon says there were concerns about the cost of making cabs accessible, which the medallions required, and competition from ride share services,” KYW reports, “so the authority is starting a new process with a minimum bid of $50,000.” Read more »
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 »
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 »
On Friday night, the new Lyft “ridesharing” service hit the streets of Philadelphia. And so did undercover agents from the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s Taxi & Limousine Division. Read more »