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Philly ban on UberX and Lyft is off for now

UberX and Lyft are no longer banned from Philadelphia.

Commonwealth Court judge Robert Simpson temporarily nullified a cease and desist order set by a Philadelphia judge Thursday that banned ride-sharing in the city.

The ruling by Simpson means the companies can no longer be held in contempt for operating in the city. But the services are still technically illegal because the Philadelphia Parking Authority does not recognize them.

“We are encouraged by today’s news,” a Lyft spokesperson shared in a statement, “and remain focused on working with legislators in Harrisburg to pass permanent rules for ridesharing in Pennsylvania.”

After being legalized through a temporary budget maneuver in time for the DNC in July, UberX and Lyft became illegal again Oct. 1. The PPA announced earlier this week it would enforce the law and possibly start pulling over drivers and impounding their cars, as the agency did in October 2014 when UberX first launched.

Thursday’s decision came as part of a lawsuit brought against the PPA by Ronald Blount, head of the Pennsylvania Taxi Workers Alliance, and other parties affiliated with the cab industry and ADA groups. The judge ordered ride-sharing companies to cease and desist or risk being held in contempt of court. Despite the order, UberX and Lyft continued to operate Thursday and earlier today before the appeals judge temporarily ended the ban by granting an injunction of the judge’s ruling to the ride-sharing companies.

Uber spokesperson Craig Ewer expressed confidence that the state legislature, which has delayed passing a bill that would legalize ride-sharing in Philly for several months, will quickly work to finalize one when it reconvenes starting Oct. 17. Blount expects a bill to pass at least by mid-November.

“If Harrisburg does not act in the next two weeks,” Ewer said in a statement, “hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians could again lose access to affordable transportation and meaningful income opportunities.”

MORE: What a Philly UberX and Lyft shutdown means for riders and drivers

 

 

 

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