Uber, Lyft, & Philly Cabs Have Showdown Of Their Own At The DNC

Image courtesy of So Cal Metro

Do you remember the scene in Anchorman when all the different news teams have a giant, lethal street fight? We imagine the showdown between Uber, Lyft, and Philadelphia cab drivers over access to the Democratic National Convention to be similar. Okay, it’s not physical, but the accusations are flying between the three ride-providing groups related to where and when they can pick up and drop off passengers headed to the event. 

Philly.com reports that city cab and Lyft drivers have accused Uber — which has an agreement with the DNC — of blocking their access to Wells Fargo Center where the convention is taking place.

Per Uber’s agreement with the DNC, the ride-hailing company has an exclusive lounge where passengers can wait for rides, and the service has the rights to dispatch vehicles for VIP guests.

However, cab companies and Lyft say that the agreement doesn’t give Uber the right to block drivers from other services from access to the main entrance of the Center.

“There’s only one entrance,” Ron Blount, head of the cabdriver’s union, said. “How can it just be exclusively theirs?”

A spokesperson for Lyft tells Philly.com that the company received reports from drivers that were being turned away from the area by a person wearing an Uber shirt.

“It’s unfortunate that anyone would try to make it harder for drivers to do their jobs and for passengers to get around,” the company said.

A spokesperson for Uber tells Philly.com that staff only diverted vehicles from the area specifically assigned to the ride-hailing company.

“Due to a logistical issue yesterday, there were cases in which non-Uber rides attempted to drop off at the DNC-assigned Uber lot,” the spokesperson said.

Lee Whack, a spokesperson for the DNC, tells Philly.com that all legal car services had access to Wells Fargo Center, noting that Ubers were assigned to Lot T, while other services were assigned to Lot V.

“Any and every legal transportation service has access to the parking lots of Wells Fargo Center to pick up and discharge passengers,” he said.

Uber says that as the convention continues, it expects that fewer disruptions will occur.

“The appropriate arrival lots have since been clarified, and we expect the process to run smoothly,” the company said.

Despite the supposed access issues, both Uber and Lyft say they have seen a significant increase in rides in Philadelphia since the convention began.

Uber, Lyft and city cabs clash over access to DNC venue [Philly.com]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.