On July 8, the Third and State blog posted a piece on why ride-sharing companies, like Lyft and Uber, will hurt the taxi industry in Pennsylvania. The author's view differs greatly from that of Senator Wayne Fontana and Representative Erin Molchany, two progressive Democrats who have sponsored legislation and resolutions supporting ride-sharing as a safe and convenient mode of transportation. It also runs counter to the opinion of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, widely regarded as one of the most progressive mayors in the country.
The author isn’t interested in the fact that ride-sharing provides a good salary for drivers, promotes community, and helps to protect the environment.
Instead the author fabricates a scenario in which ride-sharing companies "are allowed to enter the state without being required follow a reasonable set of safety and insurance rules that govern existing taxi services and that will allow lower fares and lower safety standards to displace traditional cabs."
He fails to mention that ride-sharing companies, like Lyft, welcome regulations from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
Lyft already has insurance policies and inspection criteria in place that meet or exceed PUC standards. Drivers go through rigorous criminal background and driver history checks to ensure safety. Lyft has been working with a bipartisan group of legislators in the House and Senate to pass legislation that would give the PUC oversight over ride-sharing companies.
The PUC is also supportive of the legislation. The same day that the author denounced ride-sharing on Third and State, the PUC issued a press release supporting Senator Fontana’s legislation.
Ride-sharing companies are operating in cities around the world, providing safe, reliable, and convenient transportation services. The author's argument is to keep Pennsylvania from moving forward, which certainly doesn’t seem very progressive to me.
The Triadvocate is a publication of Triad Strategies, LLC, a bipartisan lobbying, public affairs, strategic communications, grassroots advocacy, issue management consulting firm located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh