Pennsylvania PUC urged to grant temporary permits to Uber, Lyft

Pennsylvania PUC urged to grant temporary permits to Uber, Lyft

On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) was urged by local political leaders and state legislators for grant of temporary permits to Uber and Lyft ride-sharing companies.

Temporary permits have been sought for Uber and Lyft so that the two ride-sharing companies can remain operational in the Pittsburgh area until permanent regulations are adopted by lawmakers.

Towards that end, a bill was introduced last week by Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Brookline, seeking the classification of the ride-sharing companies as transportation network companies.

The proposed classification will subject the companies to regulations, including provisions which require them to establish driver-training programs, carry out background checks on drivers, conduct an annual inspection of vehicles, and maintain commercial liability insurance of at least $1 million per incident.

However, since the lawmakers cannot act on the proposed regulatory changes till they return from summer break in mid-September, a PUC spokeswoman said, with regard to the request for grant of temporary permits: "The PUC has maintained since March that a legislative solution for transportation network companies is the best answer for Pennsylvania. But we have an obligation to apply the law as it currently exists."

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