Promotional photos from the press kits of Uber (left) and Lyft
Hailing an UberX may now be worse than taking a Philly cab these days, but the service’s popularity is undeniable. The problem? UberX (as well as Lyft, a competing ride-hailing app) is illegal in the city of Philadelphia.
A Harrisburg senator is hoping to change that. On Thursday, State Sen. Camera Bartolotta, a Republican, unveiled legislation that would legalize ride-hailing services in all areas of the state. Currently, UberX and Lyft are operating under temporary authority in all Pennsylvania counties except Philadelphia. The PPA has occasionally impounded UberX vehicles in sting operations.
“Legislation is necessary to ensure these companies are allowed to operate after the temporary authority expires. It is important for state laws to keep pace with the rate of modernization,” Bartolotta said in a statement. “While there is a golden opportunity for transportation network companies to provide new options for consumers, it is also necessary that we ensure these new services operate responsibly and safely.” Read more »
From now until 3 pm today, your Uber app will double as a furry-friend finder.
The Philly branch of the on-demand car company is teaming with Pennsylvania SPCA to bring folks puppy play dates all day with the tap of a button. If you select the “Puppies” option in the app, Uber will deliver an adoptable pet to office sites in Center City, Northern Liberties, Fishtown and the Navy Yard. You’ll get 15 minutes of playtime for $20. All proceeds benefit the PSPCA.
The complete directions on how to get your pup time are pasted below. For more information, including a map of office sites, go here.
Read more »
Professors from Temple University’s Fox School of Business have found that the rollout of the ride-sharing service UberX lowered DUI deaths by 3.6 percent to 5.6 percent in California cities.
“But that reduction largely disappeared when surge prices were likely in effect,” reported PlanPhilly’s Jim Saksa, “and never really materialized following the introduction of Uber Black, the more expensive, premium version of the service (although there was some reduction in larger cities).”
Why not? “Drunks are cheap, lazy bastards who are marginally less likely to do something stupid when you provide more easy and inexpensive transportation options,” Saksa wrote. Yeah, that makes sense. Read more »
Philip Berg is seen here in a still from the self-published YouTube video promoting his ObamaScare book.
Conor Corcoran, a lawyer who lives in Philly and L.A., was bar-hopping a few weeks ago during one of his Philadelphia trips, when he had an experience he found profoundly unsettling.
“I was deep in my cups, as they say, having a few late-night cheeseburgers with a friend at Fountain Porter,” he recalls. “As you’re wont to do in the middle of the night, you call on Uber to go to the next place. And I ordered an UberX because I like to save my money for tipping bartenders.”
The car that showed up, Corcoran says, was a somewhat beat-up Mercedes, driven by a man in his 60s, who — within 60 seconds of normal passenger-driver chitchat — asked Corcoran and his friend what they thought of President Obama.
“That immediately started setting off bells. I gave my friend a look because my friend is black and here was this white guy at 3 in the morning asking us what we thought of Obama on a dark corner in South Philly.”
Corcoran and his friend said they liked Obama, and the driver suggested they check out his website. He then reached into the backseat and procured a business card with the site’s URL: Obamacrimes.com. It also had the driver’s name on it: Philip Berg. “I said to him, ‘I recognize your name from the newspapers,’ and he admitted that he was the Philip Berg behind all those lawsuits and news stories.” Read more »
Mugshot of rape suspect Abdellah Elkaddi
UberX driver Abdellah Elkaddi of Northeast Philadelphia has been charged with raping a 24-year-old female passenger in his car during a ride in June. Read more »
My UberX driver alternates between texting and eating her ice cream sundae.
When, in October of last year, Uber announced that its cheaper-than-a-taxi UberX service was finally available in Philadelphia, most of us were delighted. In addition to being significantly less expensive than Philly’s cabs, UberX was also significantly better. Read more »
Luxe has arrived in Philly.
Imagine circling a crowded Center City block for the third time, hunting for a parking spot. The lots are full, there isn’t a public spot anywhere to be found, and Philadelphia Parking Authority agents are waiting to pounce on any mistake.
So why not call a valet to pick up your car wherever you want? Now you can with Luxe, a new service that launched Tuesday in Philadelphia. Read more »
(Photo by HughE Dillon)
Hillary Clinton has put Uber, Airbnb and the sharing economy in her crosshairs as she runs for president.
In a speech laying out her economic agenda on Monday, Clinton acknowledged that “many Americans are making extra money renting out a spare room,” or even “driving their own car.” But, she cautioned that it’s “raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.” Read more »
1. Where is Tony Bruno?
The News: Regular listeners of 94 WIP have likely realized that something has been missing from their afternoon sports radio show over the past two days — host Tony Bruno. And it doesn’t appear to be a summer vacation.
Instead, he’s in a cooling off period over a rift with co-host Josh Innes, according to Crossing Broad. Apparently, Bruno “was put off by Innes’ constant badgering and trolling of his own audience – a conclusion that is obvious to just about anyone listening,” said Crossing Broad. “Things may have come to a head a couple of weeks ago when Innes made fun of a caller who was clearly under the influence and had an admitted coke problem.” Read more »
Uber is hiring a general manager to launch a Philly UberEATS delivery service.
1. Uber’s food delivery hiring Philly GM
The News: Uber isn’t just a people-delivery service, it’s also a food-delivery service through its vertical UberEATS. Now the company is hiring a general manager to head up the Philly operation, according to Technically Philly. It’s currently available in just five cities: New York, Barcelona, Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto.
The job listing said the company is looking for someone with a “get shit done attitude” and the “fear tolerance of a honey-badger:” Read more »