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Photo: Dominique Johnson/ Al DÍA News
Photo: Dominique Johnson/ Al DÍA News

PPA and Uber reach agreement for rideshare operations

The Philadelphia Parking Authority and Uber announced at a joint press conference Thursday, an agreement that will authorize Uber’s transportation network…

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The Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) and Uber announced at a joint press conference Thursday, an agreement that will authorize Uber’s transportation network services in Philadelphia County through September 30.

In a “semi-legalized” agreement, rides with Uber will be legit with no interference from the PPA.

“We will want Philadelphia to shine during the Democratic National Convention and we want to help alleviate some of the commuter disruption caused by Septa rail problems,” Philadelphia Parking Authority Executive Director Vince Fenerty said.  “Working together over the past several months and more intently this week the Philadelphia Parking Authority and Uber have reached an agreement that will allow uberX and uberPOOL to operate in Philadelphia until Sept. 30.”

The agreement will ensure that all riders will be able to access all of Uber’s products, including uberXL. Uber’s operations outside of Philadelphia are already authorized and regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission.

During this three month period, Fenerty is hopeful that Philadelphia legislature will enact the necessary legislation to permanently allow rideshare companies to operate legally in the city.

“Today’s agreement will allow us to help city residents and visitors alike, navigate the obstacles by the current SEPTA rail disruption and it will help us  to ensure that visitors to the upcoming Democratic National Convention have as many transportation options as possible, including rideshare,” Jon Feldman, Uber’s General Manager for Pennsylvania said.

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Uber originally announced that it would invest in a $1 million initiative to help in the after effect of the deactivation of SEPTA’s Silverliner Regional Rail Cars.

The investment has been doubled to $2.5 million through Labor Day through a new initiative called Philly Moves Together. The money will fund driver incentives and rider discounts for uberPOOL.

However, not everyone is pleased with the new agreement. According to PlanPhilly, following the press conference representatives of Philadelphia’s limousine and taxi drivers promised “chaos” during the DNC.

“We just think it’s really crazy,” Ronald Blount, President of the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania told PlanPhilly. “We’re definitely looking at our legal options and we’ll definitely take action in the streets.”

During the press conference, Fenerty stated that he did not believe taxi drivers would strike since during the DNC they would have the opportunity “to make a good living.”

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