Uber, Lyft Will Continue Operating in Philadelphia, Defying Judge's Order (Updated: Judge's Order Overturned!)

Ride-sharing services weren't defendants in lawsuit brought by taxi driver union, but got slapped with a cease-and-desist order anyway.


Screenshot of Uber app by Eric Boehm

A day after a Pennsylvania judge ordered ride-sharing services to suspend operations in Philadelphia—where Uber and Lyft said they would keep operating regardless—that order has been overturned by a higher ranking judge.

Judge Robert Simpson of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania on Friday evening issued a stay against the cease and disist order issued Thursday by Judge Linda Carpenter of the state's Court of Common Pleas.

Confused yet? Here's the bottom line: Uber and Lyft will get to continue operating in Philly, at least until city regulators or state lawmakers finalize new rules for the ride-sharing apps.

"We are encouraged by today's news and remain focused on working with legislators in Harrisburg to pass permanent rules for ridesharing in Pennsylvania," said Lyft spokeswoman Chelsea Harrison in an email on Friday evening.

The cease and desist order had been issued in response to a lawsuit filed by the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania, a union representing taxi drivers. That lawsuit challenged the Philadelphia Parking Authority's decision in July to allow Uber and Lyft to operate in the city after previously trying to block them.

Uber and Lyft were not defendants to the lawsuit and were not given a chance to respond to the lawsuit before the order was issued.

Drivers caught using UberX or Lyft apps to pick-up passengers were told they have their cars impounded and will be held in contempt of court for violating the order.

Lyft has reached out to drivers in Philadelphia to let them know about the company's critical response contact information.

"If you ever receive a citation or have an escalated issue on the road, we'll be here for you," Lyft told drivers in a notification sent on Friday.

The legal back-and-forth comes just days after the Philadelphia Parking Authority indicated it was going to rewrite regulations to once again make ride-sharing illegal in the city. Uber and Lyft had operated outside of the PPA's regulations prior to getting a temporarily autorization before the Democratic National Convention took place in July. That authorization expired at the end of September.

Previously, the PPA had run sting operations to catch Uber drivers in the act. Its not immediately clear if the authority plans to start going that again.

Uber and Lyft are operating in the rest of Pennsylvania under a temporary two year authorization granted by the state's Public Utility Commission. Under the state's confusing regulatory system, the PUC has authority over taxi services everywhere except Philadelphia, where the PPA has the final say.

That is, unless state lawmakers in Harrisburg supercede the PPA's authority.

Whether they will do that before the end of the year is still an open question. Legislation that would legalize ride-sharing statewide passed the state Senate in November 2015 but has been tied up in the state House and hasn't moved since May. The legislature is scheduled to reconvene on October 17, but there are only a handful of days remaining on the legislative calendar for the year—if the bill isn't passed and signed into law before December 31, it would have to start all over again in the new session.

The bill would prevent Uber and Lyft drivers from picking up passengers at the city's airport and train station, but would otherwise allow ride-sharing to have free reign in the city.

Instead of resorting to using government force against potential competitors, taxi companies in Philadelphia could learn from their counterparts in St. Louis. Cab companies there have recently announced plans to launch a smart phone app to compete directly with Uber and Lyft.

Until that happens, the legal tug of war between taxis and ride-sharing is likely to continue in the City of Brothery Love.

NEXT: Ross Ulbricht's Silk Road Appeal: One Judge Seems to Question His Life Sentence without Parole

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  1. Legislation that would legalize ride-sharing statewide

    The fact that one would require legislation to operate a business says a lot about Statistsylvania.

    Civil disobedience.

    We may be coming to the end.

    1. Montana’s insurance commissioner has the power to approve or deny ridesharing services within the state. I’m sure one needs government permission in every state to legally operate such services.

      Land of opportunity, my ass.

      1. Well if the government won’t regulate businesses, who will?


        Seriously the dumb fuck progs on my derpbook can’t even grasp that the market regulates. All that bitching about Wells Fargo – then don’t fucking do business with wells fargo…

      2. “I’m sure one needs government permission in every state to legally operate such services.”

        Wait a second… My progressive friends assure me that the US is a bastion of Wild West, free market capitalism and that it’s the source of all our societal ills.

    2. I only work about for 12k- $15k hours a week from home. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. Join the many successful people who have already started freelancing over the web. Visit this web and go to tech tab to start your work… http://tinyurl.com/zvrrsk4

  2. More e-mail shenanigans from the Clinton campaign.

    After all they’ve been through how are they still so bad at infosec? Are they incapable of learning?

    1. What is there to learn from? Their foolproof plan is:

      1. Commit crime/violation
      2. Ignore it until someone notices
      3. Engage in half-assed cover-up
      4. Blame it all on the vast right-wing conspiracy
      5. What difference, at this point, does it make?

      It hasn’t failed yet.

      1. or as my Hilary loving prog friends say:

        “WELL she’s not different than ANY OTHER politician! I mean they are ALL pretty much guilty of something, right?”

        1. “…and therefore:”

    2. “MSNBC producer Sheara Braun corresponded with Clinton campaign spokesperson Adrienne Elrod in a chain of emails Marshall was cc’ed on from April 2015. There Braun described a segment MSNBC aired every week to target millennials for Clinton.”

      I, for one, am thrilled we have an un-biased press covering the candidates and issued!
      BTW, Assange hasn’t yet dropped a dime, and he seems to know the news cycles well enough not to do so on a 3-day weekend.

  3. Don’t people realize that they have an obligation to consider the lives of the taxi drivers they disemploy?

    1. We do NOT have an obligation to consider the lives of the taxi drivers we “disemploy”.

  4. Until that happens, the legal tug of war between taxis and ride-sharing is likely to continue in the City of [Brotherly] Love.

    Filthacrapians don’t deserve convenience and commercial choice. None of you city-dwellers do, but especially not Crapajerkians.

  5. “cease and disist order”

    They have to stop dissing each other?

    1. Well, they’ll either correct it tomorrow or else it will stop mattering.

  6. Guns in Donald Trump’s America

    TRIGGER WARNING (so to speak) – the author is a Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry, and he’s writing in the Huffington Post.

    1. He would have become Hitler?

  7. So, what does a cab cartel have to pay an incompetent fifth-rate shyster to issue a ruling against their competition these days?


    1. You can’t buy off a judge, but you can rent him pretty cheaply.

  8. my friend’s mom makes $67 an hour on the internet . She has been fired for five months but last month her pay check was $20360 just working on the internet for a few hours. view….
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  9. my friend’s mom makes $67 an hour on the internet . She has been fired for five months but last month her pay check was $20360 just working on the internet for a few hours. view….
    >>>>>>>>> http://www.Reportmax20.com

  10. Prog don’t need Uber anymore – the socialist convention is over and central committee is gearing up for Queen Clinton.
    On to the coronation and the passing of the Drone from WarBama to Queen Killery

  11. As a lifelong resident of Taxylvania, this is how this will play out.
    The Philly caucus in the legislature will push through a bill adding a special tax, say 20%, to all ride sharing fares. The money will go to “financially distressed ” school districts, that is, most districts in the state.
    Governor Wolf will rush down to his office out of a sound sleep to sign the bill, claiming it is a victory for education.
    This state is controlled by the PSEA and senior citizens, except the seniors now are either dying off or wising up and moving away.

  12. before I looked at the check which had said $6190 , I be certain …that…my sister was like trully bringing home money part time at their computer. . there uncle has been doing this for only about nine months and resently took care of the debts on their home and purchased a top of the range Lotus Elan . you could try here
    ????????> http://www.factoryofincome.com

  13. While I get that Uber and Lyft are a technological innovation, they are really regulatory arbitrage companies. I am amazed at the continued support of reason based on “free markets” when the markets are not at all free. Take NYC as example where existing taxis must comply with ADA and buy medallions (at the point of a gun). Uber/Lyft coming into these markets and not needing to do the same is not a free market it is a distortion. The people who are left behind are the ones who the government forced into the system, I am amazed there have not been stories about how to support these people.

  14. I do not understand why a government utility or agency would not invite competition within the transit market as a whole. Competition is vital for the growth of a particular market and I would venture to say is a hallmark of the American spirit fostering advancements as a by-product of that very competition. Advancement in technologies, consumer buying power, and delivery of services all derive from healthy companies competition for the end users patronage. When a government stifles that competition for any one group, all inevitable suffer. Just because it was the old way of doing business, neither makes it right way or the best way. I believe only better service, better prices, and better applications can only come from more players on the field in the ride-share, taxi and or public transportation as a whole industry. The public should have options in how to get from point A to point B, and not a government restriction on those options that lead to a stagnation of quality, performance, and high price burdens that ultimately cripple the end user consumer in more ways than just transportation. Also, of note is that these companies are giving many people jobs they would not have but for these companies coming to the market, and not only is the consumer wishing the ride uplifted by the competition so is the provider of the service, the driver

    1. I do not understand why a government utility or agency would not invite competition within the transit market as a whole.

      Because the cab cartels pay them to exclude competition, duh!


  15. my mom recently got a real cool Mercedes M-Class ML63 AMG just by some part-time working online with a computer.
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  16. What’s the difference ebetween ride sharing and taxi?

  17. just as Helen said I’m taken by surprise that anyone able to make $6511 in 4 weeks on the computer
    see more at———–>>> http://tinyurl.com/Usatoday01

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