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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PPA Releases Impounded UberX Cars

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Over the weekend, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which oversees all taxis and limousines in city limits, impounded six UberX cars in an undercover sting operation, saying that UberX was operating illegally here. Uber cried foul. Mayor Nutter told everybody to chill the heck out. And as of Tuesday at noon, the PPA had released four cars and said that they are expecting to release the remaining two shortly. Read more »

PPA Impounds UberX Vehicles in Undercover Sting Operation

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[UPDATE] Uber has issued a statement calling the PPA sting a “deplorable charade.”

[ORIGINAL] On Saturday, we told you that Uber had announced the arrival of UberX — the cheaper version of Uber — in Philadelphia proper and that the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which regulates all cabs and limousines in the city, was none too happy about it. “We will impound the vehicle,” a PPA investigator told us when asked if the PPA would be conducting an undercover sting similar to the one that kicked car service SideCar out of the city in 2013. And by Saturday night, the PPA made it clear that the agency wasn’t messing around. Read more »

Uber Launches UberX In Philadelphia, But PPA Says “Not So Fast”

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UPDATE 10/26 1:50 p.m.: The Philadelphia Parking Authority has impounded UberX vehicles through an undercover sting operation. For the full report, go here.

ORIGINAL:

On Friday afternoon, the scads of Uber customers in the Philadelphia area received an email announcing the arrival of UberX, the company’s lower-cost alternative, within city limits. The company explained that it had decided to thrust UberX upon the city due to a convoluted situation that may have left hundreds of Philadelphia taxicabs without the insurance they need to operate. Read more »

99 Percent of Philly Parking Tickets Are Perfectly Legit

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If you live in Philadelphia or park in it on occasion, you necessarily hate the Philadelphia Parking Authority and its trolling band of uniformed parking enforcers, who make your life miserable with their little handheld parking ticket generators and their unique inability to offer an ounce of human compassion or empathy. But the thing is, they’re almost always right.

Earlier this week, crusty Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky offered the world a story about a man who supposedly got a parking ticket before he even had a chance to get out of the car and feed the meter. It was one of those generic “The PPA Sucks!” PPA-indictment stories that pop up on a fairly regular basis and that are always good for lots of righteous indignation. As of Thursday morning, Bykofsky’s story had generated over 150 comments.

But I was unmoved, because all Bykofsky had was one man’s word that this had happened, and in my experience with people and their parking tickets, either people lie outright or the truth is somewhere in the middle. Or they outwardly admit that they were “technically” in the wrong but that they still shouldn’t have received a ticket and that, oh yeah, THE PPA SUCKS!

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State Approves Plan to Place Cameras in Philly Taxis

A state review body on Thursday approved a city plan to install cameras in every single taxi cab operating in Philadelphia.

The plan, proposed by the Philadelphia Parking Authority, would affect 5,000 workers, medallion owners, and dispatchers. The system would let drivers hit a “panic” button to transmit live video to dispatchers and the PPA — a safety measure intended to deter a wave of violence against drivers.

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PPA Hopes to Let You Pay for Parking With Your Cell Phone

The Philadelphia Parking Authority is hoping to allow you to pay for parking with your cell phone by next summer. Well, “hopefully,” a spokesperson says.

The technology is already in place in cities near Philadelphia, including Allentown and Camden. The PPA actually posted a request for information (RFI) about pay-by-cell parking, but has since said the RFI “will be revised and re-posted at later date.”

Fortunately, the the actual RFI is still on the PPA’s site (PDF). It’s pretty standard stuff. The PPA is (was?) simply looking to “explore available options with currently marketed services utilized by various government entities for Pay-by-Cell solutions.”

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PPA to Start 6-Month Study on Motorcycle, Scooter Parking in Center City

The Philadelphia Parking Authority is starting a study on motorcycle and scooter parking in Center City. It’s expected to last about six months.

Last year, the PPA began issuing $76 tickets to scooters and motorcycles parked on the sidewalk downtown. After protests, the PPA announced new initiatives for motorcycle and scooter parking, but it hasn’t followed through on the new spaces it pledged to create in early January.

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PPA Has Issued Over 260 Tickets for Cars Parked in Bike Lanes Since January

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The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia posted an update today on its joint #unblockbikelanes Twitter campaign with the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Between January and March, the campaign, which launched in December, generated 55 complaints, and PPA reports that it doled out 264 tickets to cars illegally parked in bike lanes; the bulk of the tickets were issued on Spruce and Pine streets.

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