Image via Flickr.
Before Governor Tom Wolf passed ridesharing legislation last November, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft operated illegally across parts of Pennsylvania. On Thursday, Uber finally agreed to pay $3.5 million to the state’s general fund to settle its dispute with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission over its period of illegal operation.
According to the settlement agreement, the Commission originally imposed a civil penalty of about $11.4 million. Uber rejected the orders, claiming the Commission exceeded its jurisdiction by regulating its activities. The Commission maintains that it had jurisdiction over the company’s services, and Uber failed to obtain a license to operate between February 2014 and August 2014. The ridesharing company also allegedly operated for a month after a cease-and-desist order from PUC. Read more »
I have taken literally hundreds of Uber rides since the company launched in the Philadelphia area way back in 2012, and I have never, ever lost anything in an Uber. Well, except my patience. But apparently, people do lose stuff all the time. Read more »
On Friday, a group of Philly Uber drivers announced their plans to align with a local union in an effort to collectively voice their concerns against the conflict-ridden ridesharing company.
The Inquirer reports that the decision to unionize came as Uber refunded millions of dollars to Philly Uber drivers after the company overcharged the drivers in commission. And Uber also told the Philly drivers that they’d be increasing the commission charge by five percent going forward.
“Due to an error in our system, an updated service fee addendum was never released to you in the driver app as it should have been,” the company told drivers in an email. “Because of this error we are refunding you 5% plus interest for all UberBlack trips completed from Aug. 26, 2015, until March 2, 2017.”
The email also stated: “You will also receive a new addendum in the driver app stating that the correct service fee for UberBlack is 25%, which you will be charged going forward.” Read more »
Students at La Salle library. Photo by Matthew Chverchko, courtesy La Salle University.
La Salle University has partnered up with Uber to bring students discounted rides. The pilot program will last from now until March 7th. Students can travel between an established pickup location at La Salle’s School of Business to be dropped off at the Olney Transportation Center for a flat rate of $1.99. The distance is just less than a mile.
As Newsworks reports, the partnership is first of its kind and is already addressing some problems for La Salle’s commuter population. La Salle has a campus shuttle that runs every 20 minutes and makes a stop at the Olney Transportation Center, but it stops running at 2 a.m. on weekdays and at 3 a.m. on weekends. Some students walk the distance but see the partnership as a way to bolster safety and convenience. Read more »
Promotional photos from the press kits of Uber (left) and Lyft
Data released by the School District of Philadelphia on Thursday show that Uber and Lyft, which were both illegal at one point in Philadelphia, brought in more than $44 million in their first two months of legal operation across the state, according to the Inquirer. And, in the first fruits of a tax agreement, school leaders announced that the district would receive nearly $358,000 from the ride-sharing companies.
Legislation signed by Gov. Wolf in November that allowed the companies to operate statewide included a 1.4 percent levy on each ride provided through the companies’ apps. Previously, when Uber and Lyft operated under a temporary court reprieve, they were taxed at just 1 percent per ride. Read more »
Uber app display during DNC in Philadelphia. | Photo by Fabiola Cineas
As if Amazon Prime, Spotify and Netflix subscriptions weren’t enough, here’s another service we might all be adding to monthly expenses soon: Uber just began offering Philly commuters a ride-sharing subscription service that will allow users to pay their fares up front, the Inquirer reports.
The rates may be significantly cheaper than your current transportation costs. Subscribers pay a monthly fee in exchange for a package of trips at reduced, flat fares. On UberX, subscribers can request a ride anywhere within a 389-square-mile area for no more than $4.49. With UberPool, the deal is even cheaper: You won’t ever pay more than $2.49 a ride. Package deals range from 10 rides for $5 to 40 rides for $20 over a month. And the fixed deals mean that surge pricing won’t ever interfere. Read more »
Left: Former Uber driver Major Fuller. (University of Pennsylvania Police Department) Right: Cherry Hill resident Joseph Fusco, the man Fuller stands accused of beating.
Last week, we told you that police were looking for the Uber driver who allegedly assaulted his passenger after a pickup in University City, and now we’ve learned that investigators have made an arrest. Read more »
Joseph Fusco | Photo courtesy of Fusco’s attorney
Three days before Christmas, Cabrini College director of public safety Joseph Fusco attended a holiday party in University City, organized by the security company Allied Universal. He drank with his friends and colleagues, as one is apt to do at a holiday party, and around 11 p.m., he requested an Uber to his home in Cherry Hill. And that, he claims, is when his troubles began. Read more »
Clockwise: Mayor Jim Kenney, Villanova Wildcats coach Jay Wright, Olympian Nia Ali, actor Sylvester Stallone and outgoing U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger.
Believe it or not, a few people actually succeeded in the otherwise godforsaken 2016. Here’s to all the do-gooders, overachievers, strivers, thrivers, and folks who won so much they got tired of the winning. Read more »
That transit check that helps you get to work could now help you do it in a car.
On Wednesday, Uber announced it had started accepting certain commuter benefits cards for its UberPOOL service. In the U.S., employers are allowed to provide non-taxed transportation benefits up to a certain level.
The idea of employer-provided transit benefits is to encourage people to take transit to work, which is generally better for the environment and also cuts down on road congestion. As UberPOOL cars have up to four riders in them, it counts. UberPOOL rides can now be paid for with WageWorks Commuter Prepaid MasterCard, WageWorks Visa Prepaid Commuter Card and the TransitChek QuickPay Prepaid Visa Card. Read more »