Frustrated Commuters Say Uber, Lyft Drivers Taking Up Spots At 30th Street Station

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Parking problems at 30th Street Station are creating frustration for some commuters.

I go around and around and around,” says Shelley Verlin of Penn Valley, who frequents the train station to pick up and drop off her daughter, who lives in New York City.

“I did it twice this week and couldn’t find a spot both times and said, ‘You know, this isn’t right.'”

Verlin says Uber and Lyft drivers clog traffic and hog the already limited parking spaces by idling in search of potential passengers.

“It’s frustrating! I don’t have a problem with ride sharing. I just don’t know why they need to be occupying all the parking spots,” she said.

But to some extent, they’re allowed to, says one Uber black driver, who did not want to be identified.

“That’s why those kiosks [on the right side] say “located here” and these [on this side] are bagged up,” he said. “Uber takes 25 percent of all our fares. A percentage of that goes to these spots we are able to park at.”

On the 30th Street side of the station, the kiosks along the outer lane are covered by black trash bags and there are signs marking those spots off for Uber.

But frustrated commuters say some of those drivers from ride-sharing services are taking up spots meant for paying customers.

“Somebody should be out here policing to make sure Uber and Lyft aren’t taking up all those spots. That’s my beef with it,” said Verlin.

Even the Uber driver we spoke with says he sees fellow ride-share drivers breaking the rules.

“It’s all day every day, all day every day,” he said, adding that Uber Black drivers are more experienced than the typical UberX driver.

Eyewitness News confronted one driver, who had parked in a short-term space instead of in the outer lane marked off for Uber.

“I didn’t know, but now I know it, so thank you for the information. I won’t park on that side,” he said.

The separate garage is impractically expensive, Verlin says, for a quick pick-up or drop-off.

“It’s expensive. For a 5-10 minute time period, it doesn’t seem worth it to have to pay $6 for the first 30 minutes,” Verlin added.

Those who frequent this busy transportation hub hope the wheels start turning towards more solutions down the road.

“Perhaps have a cell phone waiting lot like they do at the airport for the Uber drivers to sit and wait,” Verlin said.

“It’s something the city needs to get under control, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, and Uber as well,” the Uber driver said.

A spokesman for the Philadelphia Parking Authority did not return calls seeking comment.

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