Nearly two weeks after granting a two-year experimental license to Uber, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) did the same Thursday for Lyft, the other major ridesharing service in the state.
The commission voted 5-0 to approve Lyft’s compliance plan, which was mandated by the Dec. 18 order which granted an experimental license if Lyft demonstrated that it was meeting specific conditions to ensure driver integrity, vehicle safety and insurance protections.
“We agree with (PUC) staff that the filing before us adequately demonstrates compliance with the conditions in the Dec. 18 Order,” said PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson in a joint statement with Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer. “This action today exemplifies our stance that this innovative use of the public space should be encouraged in a way that is consistent with protecting the traveling public and supporting economic development.”
Lyft is now permitted to operate throughout Pennsylvania, excluding Philadelphia, effective immediately. The Philadelphia Parking Authority oversees taxi and limousine service in that city.
Powelson reiterated that despite today’s decision the best permanent solution for Transportation Network Companies — taxis and limos — should come from the legislature.
“The Commission looks forward to continuing its work with the General Assembly on TNC legislation and further intends to review our own regulations in the future, as necessary, to accommodate the current state of the transportation industry.”