City Council: We Want UberX, Lyft

Council passes a resolution calling on Harrisburg to approve the ride-hailing services in Philadelphia.

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With ride-hailing service Lyft scheduled to launch today at 6 p.m. to compete with UberX, City Council yesterday passed a resolution that states in no uncertain terms that the city would like to see such services legal in Philadelphia.

When UberX launched here in October, chaos ensued, as the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which regulates taxi and limousine service in the city and considers such services illegal, impounded several cars of UberX drivers. The mayor urged peace; the president of the Pennsylvania Taxi Association compared UberX to Isis; the PPA suggested that drivers for the sanctioned Uber black-car service rat out UberX drivers; and things have been uneasy ever since.

Back in October, then-Councilman Jim Kenney introduced a resolution calling on the state to approve such services in Philadelphia (they’re approved in all 66 other counties in the state). And yesterday, on Kenney’s final day in Council, the body approved such a resolution (below).

The document states, “With the introduction of smart-phone based applications used to arrange and provide peer-to-peer transportation options, the nation is innovating ways in which Americans get from place to place,” and “Services such as Lyft and UberX are two such smart phone based platforms that connect riders with drivers in their communities with ease of use, safety and convenience.”

It also suggests that “Philadelphia residents are being unfairly discriminated against by allowing this service in every other county in the Commonwealth” and calls on the state legislature to pass legislation establishing regulations for these “Transportation Network Companies” in the city.