Judges shut down ride-sharing firms in Western Pa.

Two administrative law judges have agreed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to force two ride-share companies to stop operating in Pittsburgh.

The judges issued their rulings Tuesday, five days after PUC attorneys argued that Lyft and Uber are violating state rules that govern paid transportation services.

Uber, Lyft and other ride-share companies use smartphone apps to dispatch drivers who use their own personal vehicles.

Although the judge’s agreed the technology used to dispatch the vehicles was innovative, they said both companies were still illegally offering public transportation in private vehicles.

The companies plan to contest the emergency orders against them. The PUC has been threatening both companies with fines if they keep operating without first being regulated like taxi services.

Both companies have permit applications pending with the PUC.

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