Uber, Lyft Ordered To Cease Operations In Philadelphia

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Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft have faced a long struggle against traditional taxi companies. Being far cheaper and easier to hail and use, people with places to go have all but forgotten about traditional taxicabs in a number of areas where the two services operate, or even just one of them. There can, however, be regulatory hangups; not too long ago, Uber faced a class action lawsuit from its workers because the very thing that allows the company to operate the way it does caused the drivers problems. This does not help when, for obvious reasons, such companies butt heads with local taxi operators. Some areas, such as the state of Pennsylvania, still don't have a comprehensive regulatory framework in place surrounding such services. It's for this reason that a motion filed by the Taxi Workers Alliance of Philadelphia was enough to cause an injunction against both businesses.

The Alliance took to the courts saying that the Philidelphia Parking Authority was not providing equal protections on the legal front to all vehicle operators in the city, and that disabled populations in the city were not served as well by Uber and Lyft as they were by taxicabs because, due to the freelance nature of their operation, Uber and Lyft aren't as answerable to the US Department of Transportation as taxi companies are, and thus do not have to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. The injunction comes just as the two companies' temporary authorization to operate in the state expires, back at the end of September. As of now, the companies are operating under an experimental authorization until October 17, when the state's lawmakers will vote on whether to allow ridesharing and how to regulate it.

For the time being, both companies have stated that they will continue operation and are appealing the injunction. Uber named the October 17 vote as their pivot point, while Lyft said that they were not given a chance to respond to legal proceedings before the injunction, and will continue to operate while their appeal is processed. Should a request be made and evidence be presented that the two companies are violating the injunction, they could end up in contempt of court. It's been made clear that the people of Pennsylvania want access to ridesharing, but the regulatory framework to ensure that ridesharing companies comply with applicable laws and are answerable to applicable authorities needs to be put in place. Until then, they will continue to go blow for blow against local taxi companies, who are reporting tons of lost business and revenue in the short two years that ridesharing has been an option in the state of Pennsylvania.

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Senior Staff Writer

Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, Voice assistants, AI technology development news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]

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