Don’t Carve Philly Out of Uber Legalization

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We got pretty close to legalizing Uber X and Lyft-type ride-sharing services this session, but the clock ran out and the fight has been pushed into next year.

That’s why it’s so important now that we kill this stupid idea of carving Philadelphia out of the statewide regulations.

If you live in or around Philly, sign This Old City’s petition to tell state lawmakers this is a voting issue for you, and you’re for kicking¬†them out of office if they leave Philly behind in the 20th century while the rest of the state gets a taxi service upgrade.

This entry was posted in Economy, Elections, Governor, Issues, State House, State Senate, Transportation.

22 Responses to Don’t Carve Philly Out of Uber Legalization

  1. phillydem says:

    This is a good article on the hidden side of the “sharing economy” http://www.cnet.com/news/vexed-in-the-city-the-sharing-economys-hidden-toll-on-san-francisco/

  2. phillydem says:

    What many don’t realize is that the drivers for Uber and Lyft are in the same boat as drivers for Fedex and other businesses that use “independent contractors” as a tactic to save themselves the cost of unemployment insurance, paying benefits, a liveable wage and other labor costs. While these business might serve a useful purpose and maybe even let the services’ users feel good about themselves for various reasons, it’s a business – and a big one at that – that’s every bit as exploitive of its labor force as Wal-Mart or Amazon.

  3. Jon Geeting says:

    Certainly not worse than the existing cab medallion system, which is also based on independent contractors. The question is whether the government should continue to block competition with that system. The answer is no.

    • phillydem says:

      I guess I don’t see the societal improvement gained by explotive systems competing with each other.

      I think there should be at least minimum regulations to ensure public safety. I think that’s why government exists and why it’s is blocking Uber and Lyft. If they can abide by the regulations, then they can compete.

  4. Matt Thomas says:

    Typical of a SCAB lover like the phony liberal Geeting who cares nothing for the livelihoods of honest workers and their families.

  5. phillydem says:

    I don’t think Uber/Lyft drivers are scabs, per se, but they ARE being exploited by their employers because they have to bear the burden of costs for car insurance and vehicle maintenance and get few or no benefits for what they contribute to those companies’ bottom line.

    It’s hilarious that they claim to be “tech” companies in order to avoid regulation.

    But I guess it takes two to be exploited, the company and the workers willing to go along. Then again, maybe that’s the reason the businesses are being sued by some of their drivers.

    • Kathy says:

      These firm’s don’t want to compete fairly by following the same requirements as other providers. It’s not real competition – it’s a subsidy given to the provider who doesn’t have to follow the same standards.

      It’s also a subsidy given to an out of City – out of state firm – who will underpay the staff & rake off the profits outside of Philly. This is good how?

  6. Matt Thomas says:

    Beyond your thoughtful concern over the exploitation of these ersatz cabbies’ private contractor status remains the equally serious question of insurance coverage. Carrying passengers on a for-hire basis requires an understandably expensive insurance rider or separate policy. My own insurer (Erie) will not even sell such coverage and it is a fair guess that many of these private operators are not adequately covered in the event they and their passengers are involved in a serious accident.
    As for my use of the word “scabs” among the classic definitions of this same term is “One who steals another his means to a livelihood.”
    To me this sounds rather close to what Philadelphia is trying to prevent.

    • Yes, yes, it is. It’s bad for passengers’ risk, and it’s no better for drivers.
      The only one who stands to gain by this is the Ubers who will make loads… companies whose SOLE business model is based on evading public safety regulations and their fair share of taxes.

      Are liberals really supporting this stuff?
      Sounds libertarian to me.

      • phillydem says:

        I think for some of the younger generation, convenience kind of trumps liberal instincts.

        • Matt Thomas says:

          Yes..all to their convenience…and one might add to this a selfish insensitivity to to the needs of others in the community. Watermelonpunch has it about right…libertarian.

        • Jon Geeting says:

          The correct liberal instinct here is to support raising real wages for most people by lowering the cost of transportation in two ways: making it more of a real choice to give up a car in the city (insurance payments, gas, car payment); and increasing the reach of cab service outside of center city. The more cabs there are, the more they have to go looking for fares outside of center city, and the better served peripheral neighborhoods will be. The progressive position in this case is about improving the quality of the services.

  7. UberX also offers FREE rides. You just have to use the promo codes.
    Use the promotion code a7pli (all lowercase) and ride free up to $30.00.

    Most of the time you can get a ride to arrive within 10 minutes. If you’re downtown, someone will show up within a few minutes. Great prices too. Cheaper than a taxi and the cars are wayyy nicer.

  8. Pingback: 11/3 Morning Buzz | PoliticsPA

  9. Matt Thomas says:

    Your quote: “…support real wages for most people by lowering the cost of transportation…”
    Change your word “transportation” to a “pair of jeans” or a “hamburger” and your exact same rationale could be used to defend a Walmart or a McDonalds and any other bottom-feeder employer who lowers prices for some by exploiting others.
    Are you seriously willing to advance such a ridiculous argument?

    • Jon Geeting says:

      I don’t think it’s a ridiculous argument at all. Lowering rents for landlords by building more housing raises real wages for housing consumers, even though it’s bad for landlords. Transportation costs are the second biggest expense for most households. Is lowering the cost of transportation bad for some people? Sure. But it’s good for many more people. The progressive priority has to be making housing and transportation costs take a much smaller bite out of people’s paychecks.

      And at the same time, we need to be doing things like raising the minimum wage to make the paychecks bigger. Bigger paychecks + lower inflation for the biggest cost-of-living drivers.

      • Matt Thomas says:

        Your capricious and insensitive remark: “Is lowering the cost of transportation bad for some people? Sure.”
        Yes, bad for Philadelphia’s cab drivers (more than a few of whom are immigrants) who play by the rules in trying to support their families by way of honest work.
        What moves people of your ilk, other than an apparently ingrained egocentricity?

        • Jon Geeting says:

          There’s nothing worse for Philly cab drivers than the status quo. For those who don’t own their own taxi medallions (and only 300 of the 1600 drivers do) they have to pay between $70-100 a day in rent to suburban medallion owner kingpins. After gas, they’re earning around $5 an hour in some cases. Uber X drivers make more, and the rides are cheaper for riders. So that is what is motivating me – higher wages for drivers, more opportunities for new drivers to earn some money, lower transportation costs and more alternatives to car ownership, and most importantly, cracking the taxi medallion cartel system. The less those medallions are worth, the less a medallion owner can command in rent from the drivers, so, higher wages.

          • Matt Thomas says:

            Suddenly out of the blue you are now for higher wages and “more opportunities” for the very same cabbies you were already in favor of seeing replaced by unlicensed fly-by-night scabs.
            Your arguments are not only without weight …they are both specious and dishonest.
            You should be ashamed of yourself.

          • Jon Geeting says:

            If you think I’m “out of the blue” in favor of higher wages for cabbies you obviously haven’t been understanding my argument. As usual, this has been a remarkably unpleasant interaction!

  10. Matt Thomas says:

    No point in belaboring this…I’m moving on.