Tom Earle, CEO of Liberty Resources, representing a coalition of disability rights activists and taxi cab drivers, demanded that the Board of the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) enforce an injunction against UberX and Lyft from continuing to operate ride sharing services in Philadelphia.
PPA has been made aware of the unlawful and unethical practices of both UberX and Lyft for some time yet no action has been taken by the government funded organization. Last month, the coalition sent hundreds of petitions along with a letter of request to meet with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to discuss the issue. The request was denied. As a result of inaction by both PPA and the Mayor’s office, the coalition staged a protest involving nearly a thousand cabs which halted traffic to a standstill on the most heavily travelled roads around City Hall.
At the PPA Board meeting held today, Earle distributed a letter from the coalition publicly requesting that PPA take action. “The PPA’s lack of enforcement in Philadelphia continues to violate the civil rights of hundreds of riders with disabilities, including disabled veterans, under the Americans with Disabilities Act,” the letter signed by Earle stated. “Bureaucratic inertia can no longer be tolerated.”
Re: PPA Enforcement of Taxi & Limousine Regulations
As you know, the taxi and limousine riding public, including passengers with disabilities who use wheelchairs, is incensed by the continued flagrant disregard and violation of applicable laws and regulations by transportation network companies such as UberX and Lyft that operate illegally in Philadelphia. The Let Philly Ride campaign, which includes Liberty Resources, Inc. (LRI), Disabled in Action (DIA), Media Mobilizing Project, Philadelphia Limousine Association, Unified Taxi Workers Alliance, and the Taxis for All Philadelphia coalition all understand that, along with the City of Philadelphia, it is the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s (PPA) responsibility to oversee and regulate taxi, limousine, and airport shuttle/van service in our city.
It is unacceptable for the PPA to selectively enforce its regulations, inspections, permits, and very significant fees against only hardworking drivers and taxi medallion owners while unfairly allowing billion dollar corporations like Uber and Lyft to operate illegally with no regulatory oversight and no payment of fees and permits in Philadelphia county. Accordingly, PPA through its legal counsel, must immediately intervene in the pending litigation against UberX and seek a preliminary injunction to enjoin UberX and Lyft from illegally operating in the city. To be clear, our coalition will also present this demand at tomorrow’s scheduled PPA Board meeting at 9:30 am.
The PPA’s lack of enforcement in Philadelphia continues to violate the civil rights of hundreds of riders with disabilities, including disabled veterans, under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, PPA’s lax enforcement is decimating the economic livelihood of hundreds of taxi and limo drivers and their families. Bureaucratic inertia can no longer be tolerated.
Thank you in advance for your commitment to fairly enforce your authority and regulatory oversight over this urgent matter.
Thomas H. Earle, Esquire