Court Lifts Uber and Lyft Ban in Philadelphia

Uber and Lyft are back on the road in Philadelphia after an appellate court blocked an injunction designed to put a halt to rideshare service in the city. This move, made by Judge Robert Simpson of the Commonwealth Court on October 7, temporarily overturns a cease and desist order issued by Common Pleas Court Judge Linda Carpenter just 24 hours before.

While there is no current law that explicitly allows ridesharing companies to offer rides in the city, that does not mean there are no local drivers or passengers. In fact, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf gave them temporary approval to offer rides during the Democratic National Convention. That approval expired on September 30. 

Why did the city ban ridesharing?

The ban and resulting injunction stem from a July lawsuit filed by the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania against the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) that regulates cab services in the city.

In the suit, the taxi drivers’ union alleges that the PPA fails to hold rideshare services to the same regulations as cab companies. Because of these regulations and the resulting high cost of operating a taxi in Philadelphia, the taxi workers claim they are at a disadvantage against Uber and Lyft drivers.

What happens next for ridesharing?

While the court has not yet ruled on these claims, the claims in the suit come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the current regulatory scheme. Of course traditional cab services feel disadvantaged, because — without laws in place to regulate their services — rideshare drivers have the ability to skirt these stiff regulations and the high fees associated with running a taxi service in the city.

The specific outcome in this case remains unclear, but the hope is that the Pennsylvania legislature will address Uber and Lyft oversight in the coming months, creating a framework for the ridesharing industry in the commonwealth.

Why is this important to Philadelphia motorists?

These rideshare companies currently operate in Pennsylvania under a temporary license issued by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. This license lists Uber as an “experimental service,” setting it apart from a traditional taxi company. The license excludes Philadelphia, although this exclusion did little to prevent rideshare drivers from working in the city.

This means that, while the recent court decision does not prevent Uber and Lyft from offering rides in Philadelphia, they operate without regulation in the city. When there is no regulatory framework, it can complicate matters after an accident.

Uber & Lyft Accidents in Philadelphia

Getting compensation for your injuries after a car accident involving a rideshare service is not always as easy as it should be.

If you suffered serious injuries after a Philadelphia crash caused by a rideshare driver, the car accident attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you get the payout you deserve. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.