PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Parking Authority and Uber officials reached a temporary agreement in July to allow ridesharing services in the city. But it was only good through September 30th.
Drivers could face very hefty fines or even have their cars impounded. PPA spokesman Marty O’Rourke confirmed to CBS3 that Uber X and Lyft are now illegal in the city, but he was unsure if enforcement is going to happen.
Uber Black driver Maen Hasan doesn’t want the agreement extended until Uber X and Lyft drivers are required to undergo the same checks and pricey licensing as taxi and limousine drivers like himself.
“You have to be equal,” Hasan said. “If I go background check through the PPA, they have to do it. If I pay inspection also, I have to do inspection every year to go towards my car, they have to do the same thing.”
Uber is encouraging its drivers to continue to work, while it waits for the PPA to approve an extension or for the state legislature to pass a more permanent solution.
“Today we made an emergency filing with the PPA to extend the existing ridesharing regulations that have been in place since the summer,” said Uber spokeswoman Carlie Waibel, in a statement. “We will continue operating in compliance with these legal requirements. We are hopeful the General Assembly will keep the commitment it has made to take up comprehensive ridesharing legislation in October.”
One Uber X driver, who did not want to be identified, told CBS3 she’d be more than willing to go through the same requirements as taxi drivers in order to legally operate in the city. She and many other Uber drivers are still picking up customers, despite the uncertainty.
“What is the situation and what direction are they moving in?” she asked. “I understand the cabbies and the medallion, or if there’s some type of certifications we need or whatever, just let us know.”
The PA House of Representatives is expected to consider ridesharing bills when the state legislature returns to session on October 17.