PPA: Uber Can Operate Legally During SEPTA Troubles

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The Philadelphia Parking Authority will allow Uber to operate legally throughout the coming weeks while SEPTA runs on a heavily adjusted schedule that has left Regional Rail commuters struggling to reach their destinations.

The PPA offered Uber a detente on Tuesday, according to the Inquirer, meaning the app that lets passengers hail drivers from their phones can operate under legal circumstances temporarily.

In April, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission fined Uber $11.4 million for doing business in the city without authority. Just last week, legislators refrained from voting on a bill that would fully legalize Uber services. It could be called to a vote after summer recess. Read more »

Here’s How the SEPTA-Uber Suburban Connection Works

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Today’s the day that SEPTA Regional Rail riders no longer have to worry about finding a parking space at 11 of the system’s busiest suburban stations.

That’s because of a pilot partnership between SEPTA and Uber that seeks to find new ways to fill the “last mile” gap between home and the train.  Read more »

Activists: Uber and Lyft Tax Should Fund Philly Schools, Not the PPA

Hannah Sassaman of the Media Mobilizing Project address the Parking Authority. Photo by Jared Brey.

Hannah Sassaman of the Media Mobilizing Project addresses the Parking Authority. | Photo by Jared Brey

Public school advocates packed the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s monthly board meeting on Tuesday to question a change in a state bill that would allow ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate in Philadelphia — and drive a guaranteed fee to the PPA with little or nothing left for the school district.

Philly Mag reported on Monday that the state bill was initially written so that the school district and PPA would share a 1 percent tax on ride-sharing revenues, with two-thirds going to the district and one-third to the PPA. But a version approved by a state House committee earlier in May changed those provisions so that the PPA would be guaranteed a $2 million yearly fee from each of the largest ride-sharing companies, while the schools would get a portion of what’s left over. According to current estimates of how much revenue the tax would generate, it’s unlikely that there would be much, if any, money left for the schools.

“There is no place in this world wherein a new revenue stream should go to the Parking Authority ahead of the school district,” Councilwoman Helen Gym told the board Tuesday morning. Read more »

“Tax” on Uber and Lyft Would Actually Be a $4 Million Windfall to the PPA

uber-PPA-940x540First it looked like it was for the kids, and now it looks like it’s for the Parking Authority.

A bill in the state Senate that would allow alternative taxi services like Uber and Lyft to operate legally was initially written so that the tax revenue the services generated in Philly would be split between the Philadelphia Parking Authority and the Philadelphia School District, with two thirds of the money going to education. But the bill, which was approved by the state House Committee on Consumer Affairs earlier this month, has undergone an obscure but meaningful change. In the current version, PPA is guaranteed $4 million in revenue from Uber and Lyft before the schools can collect a dime. Read more »

Pennsylvania Slaps Uber with $11 Million Fine

 

uber-PUC-940x540Uber officials probably aren’t popping open champagne bottles or doing happy dances over the $11.4 million fine the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission levied against the company today, but they can at least go to bed tonight knowing things could have been much, much worse.

Last year, the commission’s administrative judges recommended that the ride-sharing service face a $49.9 million penalty for operating in Pennsylvania without authority for six months in 2014, said Robin Tilley, a spokeswoman for the commission.

(Spoiler alert: Uber feels like the latest penalty is still way too high, and plans to appeal.)  Read more »

Philly UberX Driver Gets Tired, Gives Keys to Passenger, Police Chase Ensues

The passenger-turned-driver Juan Carlos (left) has been charged. The sleepy UberX driver is not currently facing charges.

The passenger-turned-driver Juan Carlos (left) has been charged. The driver is not currently facing charges.

When Juan Carlos had to get from Philadelphia to his college in lovely upstate New York last Saturday, he for whatever reason, decided that UberX would be the best mode of transportation for the 275-mile journey. Well, the ride didn’t go quite as planned. Read more »

UberPool: I Came, I Saw, I Took Forever to Get Home

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Although Uber’s UberPool service debuted in Philadelphia a full month ago now, I’m still talking to a lot of regular Uber users who haven’t taken UberPool yet and some who just don’t understand what it’s all about. Well, I’ve had my share of UberPool experiences, and here’s what I can tell you. Read more »

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