By Mike Dougherty
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia taxi co-op has taken a major step forward in the six-year battle to become the first recognized and approved by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
Individual taxi drivers joined forces and asked the PPA to allow them to run their own dispatching and operate independently, under the umbrella of the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania.
President Ron Blount says this will benefit everyone involved:
“We believe that if we better service the whole city, we are more professional, that we not only will make Philadelphia a better city, but it would also increase the income of these low-income workers.”
He says implementation of the co-op is still at least two months away. In the meantime, they are working on a mobile app similar to Uber.
Each driver, under the plan, would be background checked by both the co-op and the PPA and they would have to go through several days of training before being allowed to pick up passengers.
“This is our company, so we take pride in it,” Blount says. “We’re going to perform at the utmost of professionalism…our attire, the way we treat the customers.”
Representatives from the PPA were unavailable for comment.