Ride-sharing in Philly

Josh Kopelman blasts UberX sting: ‘Philadelphia’s PPA is failing’

kopelman_uber

Josh Kopelman knows he’s biased.

But the venture capitalist — he’s an Uber investor — is a Philadelphia guy. His company, First Round Capital, houses or incubated startups like Curalate, Perceptual Networks and Technically Philly from its University City office. And as someone who’s personally invested in Philadelphia’s nascent startup culture, Kopelman doesn’t like what he’s seeing.

“A city’s treatment of Uber is a good litmus test for whether a city is supportive of a technology/innovation economy,” Kopelman told Billy Penn via email.  “It’s sad that Philadelphia’s PPA is failing that test — despite widespread support for ridesharing from the city’s population… and the support of elected officials.”

It was also somewhat of a close call for Kopelman, personally. As the Philadelphia Parking Authority was conducting undercover sting operations, stopping UberX drivers, impounding their cars and imposing $1,000 fines this weekend, Kopelman was behind the wheel of an UberX.

Kopelman compared Pennsylvania’s complicated ridesharing situation to Philly’s recent decriminalization of marijuana.

“I tweeted (somewhat) jokingly that only in Philadelphia can a driver get pulled over with marijuana and get a $25 ticket,” he wrote. “Yet if they get pulled over driving for UberX their car is impounded and there is a $1,000 fine.”

Kopelman noted other somewhat counterintuitive state laws, which (he says) make it illegal to sing in a bathtub, for a fortune-teller to predict where to dig for treasure and for someone to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors. [Ed note: There’s also that thing that makes us allowed to eat our pets.]

“While I don’t know if people will ever be able to legally sing in their bathtubs,” Kopelman said, “I do have confidence that ridesharing will exist in Philadelphia.”

Want some more? Explore other Ride-sharing in Philly stories.

Thanks for reading another Billy Penn story

Seems you’re the kind of person who really digs in. Want more? Sign up for our free morning newsletter, the easy way to stay on top of Philly news.

Thanks for reading Billy Penn

Like the story above, everything we publish is powered by our members. If you enjoy reading, join today: Just $5/month makes more difference than you’d think.

Thanks for reading! We need you.

Reader donations power our newsroom. If Billy Penn helps you feel more connected to Philly, we’d love to count you as a member. Will you join us?

Lock in your support

Reader support powers our newsroom. A monthly membership helps lock it in.

Can we count on you as a Billy Penn sustainer?

Winning the local journalism game

Thank you: Member support powers our newsroom.

Know someone else who might like our work? Invite them to sign up for our free morning newsletter.