But Steve Delbianco, executive director of NetChoice, a trade association that advocates policies promoting online commerce, points out that Philadelphia taxis continue to enjoy a monopoly on pick-ups from street hails, which is why they must meet certain requirements that TNCs should not.
“That brings certain obligations, including service for disabled passengers,” Delbianco said in an interview with Watchdog. “Any company that sets up a service is not able to serve everyone. Entrepreneurs who drive for Lyft and Uber can’t meet requirements for disabled access vehicles. The taxi commission is at this point grasping at straws to prevent competition.”
If two dueling regulatory bodies weren’t enough, now the state legislature might be about to enter the fray.
A bill to establish consistent TNC regulations is on the table at the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
“The PPA might want to be in denial of the future, but the General Assembly has a firm grasp on how to enable tech to serve citizens,” Delbianco said. “They know how to strike the right balance on regulation and innovation.”