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 »
The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission has voted to allow Uber to operate in Pennsylvania — but that ruling doesn’t apply to Philadelphia. Unlike the rest of the state, the Philadelphia Parking Authority regulates taxis in the city.
The PPA has been fighting with Uber ever since it launched its UberX service in Philadelphia on October 24th. (The service had already been operating in the suburbs.) The PPA impounded Uber cars in a sting operation — it eventually released them — while the head of the Philadelphia Taxi Association compared UberX to ISIS.
I was in Las Vegas this week and the taxi driver taking me to the airport asked me what I thought of Uber, the company whose ride sharing service UberX is currently invading Philadelphia. Apparently, the company is also setting its sights on Vegas. After I told him (I’m a fan of the service), I asked him what he thought of Uber. He said, “I’m not entirely sure, but things are always changing in this world and we have to change with them.” Smart guy.
Which brings me to Taylor Swift.
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.
At a Philadelphia Parking Authority board meeting Wednesday, Pennsylvania Taxi Association President compared UberX to ISIS.
“I try to equate this illegal operation of UberX as a terroristic act like ISIS invading the Middle East,” Alex Friedman said at the meeting, which was recorded by Plan Philly. “It is exactly the same menace.”
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 »
Thank you, Uber, for teaching our city a lesson.
Just this past week two friends of mine were out to dinner in South Philadelphia and needed a cab ride home. It was late. The restaurant was off a main road. There were no cabs around. One of my friends knew all this, so as he finished up the meal he did a very, very “bad” thing. He pulled up the Philadelphia Uber app on his iPhone and ordered an UberX vehicle. And here’s what happened.
The app was easy to use. The app worked fast. The app identified a vehicle for them. They tracked the progress of the car using the app’s GPS service. The car arrived within 10 minutes of being ordered. The car was clean. The driver was nice. He drove them to their destination. They securely paid with one click using the app. They got home safely.
According to the Philadelphia Parking Authority, the company, the driver, and I guess my friends if you want to really stretch it, broke the law.
In the first two installments of our new anonymous interview feature The Real Deal, we spoke with a Philadelphia police officer and a SEPTA driver. In this latest edition, a 43-year-old cab driver with Quaker City Cab tells us what it’s like being behind the wheel in Philadelphia seven days a week. 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.
Read more »
Just hours after the Philadelphia Parking Authority impounded five UberX vehicles, saying that UberX is operating illegally in Philadelphia, UberX has responded with a statement, calling the PPA action a “deplorable charade.”
Here is the full statement: