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 »
Lyft, the ride-hailing service that is the chief competitor to Uber, is planning to launch in Philadelphia.
Billy Penn reported on a Craigslist ad asking for drivers as well as Lyft signage at City Coho, a co-working space at 2401 Walnut Street.
After several controversies surrounding Uber, The New York Times Nick Bilton wrote the company is a “moral alternative.” Lyft costs about the same as UberX, the lower-cost alternative to Uber Black.
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UPDATE: The PPA announced credit cards are working in parking kiosks again. “We want to apologize for any inconvenience caused by the failure of our kiosks to accept credit card payments,” PPA Executive Director Vince Fenerty said in a statement. “We worked throughout the weekend to successfully correct this technical problem and things are now back to normal.”
EARLIER: People constantly complain about the PPA’s parking kiosks in Center City, but things have been even worse the past few days. On Saturday night, the PPA announced kiosk spots would be free on Sunday due to problems with processing credit card payments. Old-style standalone meters were still enforced.
Today, the PPA is enforcing parking regulations at kiosks in Center City, but no credit card payments will be accepted.
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The Philadelphia Parking Authority has enlisted a novel army in its ongoing war against the city’s illegally operating UberX car service: the Uber Black licensed limousine drivers, whose customers the cheaper UberX drivers have been siphoning away. Read more »
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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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 »
Mayor Nutter is urging peace in the war between the Philadelphia Parking Authority and ride-sharing service UberX — and suggesting that the PPA has a conflict of interest in the matter.
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