By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s been a bumpy ride for Philadelphia drivers providing online share-a-ride transportation through a San Francisco-based company.
The Philadelphia Parking Authority says the service is illegal, impounding vehicles and issuing hefty fines.
The service, called “Sidecar,” is done through a smartphone application. Those offering rides pick up passengers who make a “donation.”
But the Philadelphia Parking Authority says the service is an unauthorized taxi service, and drivers’ cars have been impounded and fines of $1,000 have been issued.
Jim Ney of the PPA oversees the regulation of taxis and limousines in the city. “They’re welcome to apply to become a legal service provider,” he tells KYW Newsradio, “but until that happens there are 1,600 medallion taxi cabs and a number of partial rights taxicabs authorized to provide service in the City of Philadelphia.”
Ney says “Sidecar” is not like another app called “Uber,” which uses existing trained and certified drivers in the city.
Sidecar says it will continue to operate in Philadelphia despite the enforcement efforts. Officials of the company and the Philadelphia Parking Authority are scheduled to meet this Friday.