UberX just opened in Philadelphia over the weekend, despite a less than happy Philadelphia Parking Authority. Uber, the ride-sharing taxi-like service, has been a contentious topic as they open operations outside of their San Francisco base. The Inquisitr reported on the issues facing Uber in Alaska.
“ADN reports that the city previously sent a couple of cease and desist letters to the San Francisco-based Uber, as well as fining an Uber driver, but the company ignored the letters and said it would pay the fine of the fined driver.”
UberX is Uber’s lower cost option that just started in Philadelphia on Saturday. According to Beta News, the Philadelphia Parking Authority is less than happy, and no fan of the Uber service. The parking authority claims that uberX, not Uber, is operating illegally and had threatened to impound any vehicle operating under the uberX banner.
Despite these threats, PCMAG reports that Uber announced in an email blast on Friday afternoon that it was launching its low-cost uberX over the weekend in Philadelphia. Unfortunately for the ride service, the Philadelphia Parking Authority made good on that promise. According to ABC 6, a man was stopped on his first uberX ride, fined $1,000, and his vehicle was impounded.
“The first time I heard it was illegal was right now when I get busted for driving, nobody told me it was illegal before this. They said ‘We’re launching today, if you would like to come in and start working today you can,’ and that’s what I did. I started this afternoon.”
Lee Rudakewich told ABC 6 about why he chose Uber’s uberX’s service. Rudakewich said he was an out of work journalist just looking for a way to make some money through Uber. Philadelphia’s Parking Authority does not see things the way Rudakewich and Uber does. A representative from the parking authority expressed their position.
“They are an illegal service provider. They’re not licensed in the state of Pennsylvania or the county of Philadelphia. We are going to enforce the laws that are here. We consider this dangerous to anyone who would take these rides because nobody has been licensed by any type of agency to operate this type of service.”
According to PCMAG, the spokesman went on to say that any vehicle operating as an uberX vehicle will be “taken off the streets.” The uberX service is already operating in cities in Canada and other locations in the U.S., such as Lincoln, Nebraska. Also, as Beta News reported, the service has already been making its rounds in the surrounding Philadelphia suburbs.
Uber seems to have made the jump into the city because the city’s taxi insurance company First Keystone Risk Retention Group just went under, leaving 1,600 taxis and limos without coverage. In response to the parking authority’s actions towards uberX opening up, Uber explained why it is an “abuse of power.”
“This is an abuse of power and a deliberate attempt to protect the status quo that has failed Philadelphians for too long. With a $1M insurance policy and the most stringent background checks, Uber is the safest ride on the road.”
What are your thoughts? Did the parking authority go too far, or is uberX illegal and should be put out of cities?
Leave your thoughts and comments below.
[Image was taken on scene]