The ridesharing tug of war continues in Philly.
On Thursday, Court of Common Pleas Judge Linda Carpenter issued a cease and desist order against ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, in response to a restraining order filed by Ron Blount, president of the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania, to stop the ridesharing services from operating in town, Billy Penn reported.
The matter at hand? The fact that ridesharing violates the rights of people with disabilities.
Judge's order: If UberX/Lyft are caught operating in Philly starting now, the companies may find themselves in a contempt of court hearing. pic.twitter.com/hcHekub7l6
— Bobby Allyn (@BobbyAllyn) October 6, 2016
News of the ruling came a day after the Philadelphia Parking Authority announced that, in the absence of ridesharing legislation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, they would start issuing citations to drivers in Philly.
On Thursday afternoon, Uber and Lyft, the two major local players in the ridesharing game, were reportedly evaluating the full implications of the ruling. If they keep operating, they could be held in contempt of the court. And yet, Uber does not seem fazed. (Not surprising given how the company has operated in the last two years.)
We reached out to Uber spokesman Craig Ewer who said Uber was appealing the decision before the Commonwealth Court, and that in the meantime, the service would remain available for riders and drivers.
As we challenge today’s ruling, Uber will remain available in Philadelphia
— Uber Philly (@Uber_Philly) October 7, 2016
He also pointed, again, to the piece of legislation the House is currently sitting on.
“This order makes it even more clear that the clock has run out for Harrisburg to pass a comprehensive ridesharing bill,” Ewer said. “We’re calling upon leaders in the House to put ridesharing to a vote as soon as possible.”
Although they did not immediately reply to our inquiry, Lyft appears to be working with lawmakers on the same issue.
— Lyft (@lyft) October 6, 2016
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out — so far, local government has not been able to control Lyft and Uber. But if the companies fail in their appeal and have to shut down, it could set a precedent for how these ridesharing companies will operate in the face of the law.-30-