Newsletter for Wednesday, Oct. 29
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
Your reminder that it’s fall, and the Phillies aren’t in the World Series. Oh well; maybe next year. Via Instagram user @urphillypal.
UBER X HAS BEEN CREEPIN’ IN THE SUBURBS FOR MONTHS NOW
The folks at Technically Philly put 2 and 2 together, and revealed Tuesday that the ride-sharing service Uber X has been picking up and dropping off users in Philly’s Pennsylvania (also South Jersey) suburbs for months now. Is that, you know, legal? Welll… it’s kind of complicated. It’s not necessarily illegal in Pa., but the state Public Utility Commission (which inexplicably oversees taxis) says it’s not legal, either. But the PUC, unlike the Philly Parking Authority, can’t call in actual cavalry to bust drivers. The PUC really can’t do much except shake its finger and promise to “look into it.” So Uber X keeps Uberin’ along, at least for now. Related: We took a crack at explaining the state of ride-sharing in Philadelphia; you can also follow this story on BillyPenn.com; enter your email, and we’ll keep you posted with updates.
IT WOULD COST $500M TO PUT A REGIONAL RAIL SPOT IN KING OF PRUSSIA
What do King of Prussia and Tyson’s Corner, Va. have in common? Transportation consultant Justin Schor hopes private developers will shoulder some of the cost of building suburban rail stations in both places. They already have, Schor noted, in the suburban Washington, D.C. retail hub. The Inquirer was at a planning meeting in Upper Merion Township yesterday, where SEPTA’s general manager and Schor talked about the hurdles that exist for the project. Mostly, here’s the big question: Will developers help pay an estimated $500 million to build a new Regional Rail stop in KOP? (There’s some federal money available, but it’s just 30 percent of the total.) At stake: Making the Schuylkill Expressway a less soul-crushing experience by reducing some of its insane traffic.
JUDGE HOLDS TEACHER BENEFIT CUTS UNTIL COURT RULES ON SRC’S MOVE
On December 15, Philly’s public school teachers had been set to start paying part of their own healthcare costs for the first time ever. Their union sued, because nobody was sure the state School Reform Commission could force that change. Now, instead of paying for health care, they’ll pay attention in Commonwealth Court, where a judge is likely to start hearing arguments in December. Both sides are happy, The Notebook reports — the teacher’s union says the ruling points to better collective bargaining, and the SRC wants clarification on whether it can unilaterally change contracts with minimal public notice.
TO DO: WATCH ‘DRACULA’ BACK-TO-BACK
WHAT: The Philadelphia Film Society presents two versions of the Bram Stoker classic on film — the 1931 version, and the 1992 let’s-not-call-it-a-reboot.
WHERE: The PFS at the Roxy Theater, 2023 Sansom Street
WHEN: 7:15-8:45 PM; 9 -10:30 PM
HOW MUCH: $6.66 (GET IT?!?!) for non-PFS members; $5 for members.
BILLY PENN LIKES
BUY A HAND-CUT NEIGHBORHOOD MAP, HELP OUT PHILLY LOVE NOTES
Emma Fried-Cassorla has found the most Philly way to maintain her Philly Love Notes blog. After two and a half years of collecting people’s love notes to the city, she’s now selling intricate hand-made maps. Get your pre-orders in for the papercut and woodcut neighborhood maps, and all the money will go to redesigning and maintaining a blog that celebrates Philly. You can also continue to submit love notes.
WILL BUNCH ON FURLOUGHED REPORTERS, UBER X AND SPOTIFY
It’s worth reading Will Bunch’s highly personal look at the Uber X situation — he had to write Monday’s story on the PPA sting himself, as the Daily News’ lone Sunday reporter wasn’t working, because that person was on an unpaid furlough. Bunch tied the taxi operation to the number of blue-collar jobs disappearing as “disruptive” services come online, from taxi drivers to travel agents to musicians.