UPDATE: Court Overturns Judge’s Order Barring Uber & Lyft In Philadelphia

Image courtesy of Uber

This week, a Common Pleas court judge in Philadelphia issued an order barring ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber’s UberX from operating in the city. This afternoon, an appeals court has overturned that order, allowing these companies to offer rides in Philly (which they hadn’t stopped doing anyway).

Uber filed an emergency petition with a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court seeking a temporary restraining order against the Philadelphia Parking Authority, the agency that regulates taxi services within Philly city limits.

While ridesharing services have authority to operate elsewhere in Pennsylvania, they have yet to reach a deal with the PPA that would let UberX and Lyft drivers pick up passengers in the city. In advance of the Democratic National Convention and in the middle of a regional rail crisis, state legislators passed a bill that authorized a 90-day truce.

Around the same time the president of the Taxi Workers Alliance of Philadelphia sued the PPA, alleging that the agency failed to provide equal protection to car service drivers in the city. This Thursday, Common Pleas Court Judge Linda Carpenter issued an injunction ordering UberX and Lyft to cease operating in Philadelphia.

Though that suit did not name Uber or Lyft as defendants, the companies argued in their appeal to the Commonwealth Court that they will be irreparably harmed by this injunction. The court agreed [PDF] and this afternoon granted Uber’s request for a restraining order.

“After today’s victory in Commonwealth Court, Uber is no longer subject to Judge Carpenter’s cease and desist order,” reads a statement from Uber to Consumerist.

The restraining order is not permanent, so it’s possible that UberX and Lyft drivers could soon once again be penalized for picking up passengers in the city. Uber’s UberBlack town car service is authorized to operate with the PPA, so that pricier option is not part of this ongoing dispute.

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