A Lot Riding on Proposed Law for Ride-hailing Apps

SCRANTON -- The governor is set to sign a bill into law giving ride-sharing services including Uber the green light to operate in Pennsylvania.

It's a welcome move for drivers who provide rides and for customers as well.

Uber has been running in our area for more than a year now and hasn't faced any significant roadblocks. However, any controversy will be settled statewide once Governor Tom Wolf signs the bill legalizing ride-hailing apps for good.

Services such as Uber and Lyft aren't like taxicabs. They rely on personal vehicles and a mobile app to pair drivers with riders.

Heather Krukowski was on her way to pick up an Uber customer a few blocks away in downtown Scranton.

"I use it just as a little supplement really. It’s good, convenient, and flexible, and all the riders like it," said Krukowski.

Krukowski hasn't been driving for Uber very long but is encouraged to hear lawmakers have passed a bill solidifying so-called transportation network services in Pennsylvania.

"I guess it means we can continue to do this. It’s an option for people who don’t drive and need a ride. (It's) good for the economy, keeps people working," she said.

This whole battle began in Philadelphia where the city wanted to regulate both Uber and Lyft, but now the state will regulate both services, meaning it’s fair game in Scranton and all across the commonwealth.

"The biggest thing is safety. We’re not that big of a metropolis around here, still big. We have cabs, but it could take a while. People might get sick of waiting and drive home. The more Ubers, the better for everybody," said Jeff Keating, Backyard Ale House.

At Backyard Ale House in Scranton, there are Uber signs outside the restrooms urging people to use the service instead of driving drunk.

Part of the appeal of the Uber service is that it's just a tap away on a mobile phone.

"We don’t need anybody getting hurt or worse than that. We want everybody to be safe."

The taxicab business is not happy with these ride-hailing apps, saying it's unfair and takes customers from its drivers.

3 comments

  • Korban Dallas

    Uber needs to be taxed and licensed like any other taxi company. Make them play fair. If not then you must allow other taxi companies to operate without those taxes and licenses.

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