Lyft Lands Amtrak Deal, Philly Taxis Feel Shut Out

Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC

When will Philadelphia’s transportation wars end? Ridesharing services Uber and Lyft aren’t the best of friends. The taxicab industry hates them both. And the PPA is the PPA.

It must be time for Amtrak to get involved.

Following Amtrak’s announcement last week of a partnership with Lyft that will allow railway passengers to seamlessly request cars from the station at the end of their ride, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported on Wednesday that Amtrak’s 30th Street Station is among the involved locations.

As of now, the partnership simply means a new button within the Amtrak app that links directly to Lyft’s, but both have hinted that they are looking to further collaborate in the future. The move will likely boost profits for Lyft, as rides to transit stations account for up to 25 percent of the transportation network company’s (TNC) activity in major U.S. cities.

While a simple app-to-app link seems like a harmless move, concerns were raised about the legality of the partnership’s presence in Philadelphia and the responsibility of the PPA to monitor it. Act 164, signed last year by governor Tom Wolf, outlines Philly-specific limits to TNC-Amtrak relationships. Read more »

Your Cab Fares Are Going Up

taxicab, cab

Image via code6d/iStockphoto.com

Cab rides in Philly are about to get more expensive.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority has approved a petition to increase the metered rate from 23 cents to 25 cents.  Read more »

Airport Taxis Will Soon Cost Even More for Some Philadelphians

The wallets South Philly and West Philly residents are about to become the latest casualties of the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

On Wednesday morning, the PPA announced a plan to expand the flat-rate cab fare zone for airport trips. According to numbers compiled by BillyPenn, those living in the newly covered areas could see an increase in airport fare of as much as $5 once required to pay the flat rate. Read more »

Philly’s Biggest Losers of 2016

Background image by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia™

Background image by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia™

Now that the last shreds of wrapping paper have been vacuumed up and the good dishes are finally put away, we revisit our time-honored tradition of taking a look back at the year and the losers, miscreants, and ne’er-do-wells it spawned. (For a more optimistic view of Philadelphia, consider Holly Otterbein‘s Biggest Winners of 2016.)

Ed Rendell

The once-lovable former champion of the everyman now spends his time being largely irrelevant and making facepalm-worthy comments in places like the Washington Post. But when you’re pulling in a cool $5,000 each month to do virtually nothing for a casino in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you probably don’t care. Read more »

Bill to Legalize UberX and Lyft Nears a Final Vote

lyft-uberx-city-council-940x540

A bill to legalize UberX and Lyft in Pennsylvania permanently is reaching the final stages in the state legislature this week. The bill can’t come soon enough for the ride-hailing companies, which have endured a two-year battle for the right to operate in the city. They experienced temporary success this past summer when Act 85 granted them a grace period set in place largely because of the Democratic National Convention in July and the SEPTA Regional Rail service suspension. Read more »

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 »

Most — but Not All — of Cabbies’ Uber Suit Thrown Out

An UberX car getting impounded by the PPA in 2015.

An UberX car getting impounded by the PPA in 2015.

A federal judge has dismissed most of the claims brought by a coalition of Philly taxi companies against Uber, the popular app-centric “ride share” service.

The portions of the lawsuit dismissed included claims that Uber provides unfair competition by providing ride services without complying with taxi cab licensing and regulatory requirements, as well as allegations of racketeering and false advertising. Read more »

Opinion: Uber Discriminates Against Pregnant Women

Uber Pregnant

Shutterstock.com

(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from guest writer Hannah Sassaman.)

Today, I’m 38 weeks pregnant. While I’m mildly (to hugely) unprepared for the roller coaster I know will hit when labor starts, my little family of three is excited to grow. One resource I’ve considered tapping for our ride to the hospital — a resource that has entered the scene since my daughter was born — is Uber.

I labored with my daughter through Hurricane Irene in August of 2011. Our neighbors’ leaf-stuffed gutters overflowed through our window casings, bringing the storm into my bedroom as I paced through my contractions. By the time we were ready to go to the hospital, the only bridge left open between my West Philly home and Center City — taking us to Pennsylvania Hospital, more than 40 blocks away — was Chestnut Street. My husband drove at less than 10 miles per hour through the eye of the storm, through quiet, wet, humid streets.

For this round, we’ve been seriously considering skipping the drive and using Uber to get to the hospital. Uber has a killer mobile app, and payments happen automatically. It’s easy to see why the business has been growing exponentially around the world.

But Uber has its own risks for me and other Philadelphians — including marked discrimination against people who use wheelchairs, people with service animals, and, now, pregnant women in labor. Read more »

Uber, Lyft Not Shutting Down During Coming Blizzard

Promotional photos from the press kits of Uber (left) and Lyft

Promotional photos from the press kits of Uber (left) and Lyft

If you’re going to be in Philadelphia this weekend, your options for getting around are slim. SEPTA is barely running as of 4 a.m. Saturday, and we expect that the remaining transit services won’t make it through Winter Storm Jonas unscathed. Plus, the city just announced that its bike-sharing service IndeGo will be unavailable — though, really, you’d have to be kind of out of your mind. But if you’re an Uber or Lyft customer, you may be in luck. Drivers for both services are expected to be working throughout the weekend. Read more »

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