PPA: Uber Can Operate Legally During SEPTA Troubles

PPA and Uber have reached an agreement that extends through Sept. 30th due to restricted SEPTA services.

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.

The agreement could help ease travel issues for suburban commuters after SEPTA removed a third of its Regional Rail train cars from service following the discovery of a major structural issue with its new Silverliner Vs.

Most Regional Rail lines are now operating on a Saturday schedule, prompting delays and several of the busier lines to reach full capacity on their way to Center City, much to the frustration of SEPTA riders and suburban commuters.

Use of Uber Pool, the company’s carpooling service, has increased 26 percent this week compared to last week, according to the Inquirer. Uber was set to announce details regarding plans to sink money into the region during the SEPTA fallout yesterday, but instead the car service app said further details would be released today at 11 a.m.

Uber is currently offering a 40 percent discount to riders who travel between SEPTA stops. Uber can operate free of penalty through Sept. 30th, including during the Democratic National Convention to be held in Philly July 25th to July 28th.

The newspaper reports that the PPA claims to have made the same offer to Lyft, a similar app, but it’s unclear whether the two have reached an agreement.

Details regarding restricted SEPTA service during this time are available on the agency’s website.

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