Stonger Pa. regulation may be in store for Uber, Lyft

    Hundreds of taxi and limosine drivers stop traffic around City Hall protesting unfair competition from rideshare organizations like Lyft and Uber. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    Hundreds of taxi and limosine drivers stop traffic around City Hall protesting unfair competition from rideshare organizations like Lyft and Uber. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    A Pennsylvania House panel has advanced a proposal aimed at establishing more oversight and regulations for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.

    The services have been operating in the commonwealth for years, initially without regulatory approval, which resulted in a hefty fine.

    The services now operate with temporary approval everywhere in the state but Philadelphia.

    The House Consumer Affairs Committee has passed Senate legislation that would legitimize the industry from a regulatory standpoint.

    An amendment passed by the panel is meant to overcome the biggest sticking points involving Philadelphia.

    Committee Chair Robert Godshall, R-Montgomery, said the Philadelphia concerns were ironed out during negotiations last week at the mayor’s office.

    Republican Rep. Gene DiGirolamo of Bucks County said that while he voted yes, he still has trust issues with these companies and has concerns about fairness for other services who have been operating legally for a very long time.

    “Darn it, what about our small business that have been following the rules and regulations for so many years?” he said. “Uber and Lyft just come in, and it just appears that they didn’t follow any of the rules and regulations.”

    Rep. Pete Daley, D-Washington, serves as the panel’s minority chair.

    “We know there are specific concerns of the medallion owners, and we have told them various times that some of their issues don’t quite fit in this particular compartment,” he said. “We will be introducing and doing legislation that will address specific concerns that they may have.

    “This legislation was probably not the right vehicle, but another piece of legislation very shortly will be.”

    The bill will now go to the full House where further debate and additional amendments are possible.

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