Uber Can Operate Legally In Philly During Public Transportation Snafu

Even though Uber vehicles are readily available throughout Philadelphia, many of the ride-hailing company’s services are still illegal in the city. But with more than 115 regional rail cars pulled from service last weekend over safety concerns, a temporary truce will allow Uber to operate without threat of fines or arrest in the City of Brotherly Love.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority, which regulates vehicles-for-hire, announced that it would temporarily put its feud with Uber on the back burner while trying to get residents to and from work during a major upheaval of the city’s public transportation system, Philly.com reports.

Under the agreement, which will extend several weeks to accommodate the Democratic National Convention, Uber can operate legally in the city without worry of being fined for picking up and dropping off passengers.

The PPA has maintained for months that Uber was operating in the city illegally, suing and fining the company $300,000 last September for providing rides in violation of city regulations.

With Wednesday’s deal, the PPA will take no action against Uber drivers through Sept. 30, Philly.com reports.

By the time the agreement ends the city and Uber hope that legislation will establish a statewide regulatory framework for the ride-hailing industry.

The new impasse is expected to help ease travel issues commuters experienced since SEPTA removed a trip of its Regional Rail train cars from service after discovering a structural issues with the cars. Commuters have reported enduring delays of more than 90 minutes in some cases, leading them to look for other modes of transportation.

Since the issues began, Uber says it has seen a 26% increase in the use of its carpooling service, UberPool.

Now, the company says it will offer 40% off to suburban riders who use its service to travel to and from certain SETPA stops.

UberPool “is a benefit that other modes of transportation do not have,” Jon Feldman, Uber’s general manager for Pennsylvania, tells Philly.com. “It can be a piece of the solution to help people move around.”

Philly.com reports that the PPA offered the same deal to Lyft, but have not yet received a response.

Uber, PPA make up while SEPTA tries to make do [Philly.com]

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