HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today commended Governor Wolf and members of the General Assembly for crafting and approving legislation that provides for permanent statewide authority for ride-hailing services.
“Today’s bill-signing by the Governor marks the end of a process that began nearly three years ago, when the PUC granted experimental authority to Pennsylvania’s first transportation network company (TNC),” said PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown. “The primary focus then, which continues today, is to encourage innovation and competition, while also ensuring that important public protections are in place – including regulations governing driver integrity, vehicle safety and insurance coverage.”
In 2014 and 2015 the PUC granted experimental authority to three TNC’s: Yellow Z, Uber and Lyft. The Commission oversees transportation services operating throughout Pennsylvania – including taxis, limousines and ride-hailing services – with the exception of Philadelphia, where those activities are regulated by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
“The Commission has been consistent in supporting legislation that paves the way for permanent TNC service in Pennsylvania. It is critically important for the Commission to create a regulatory environment where innovation can thrive in the transportation sector,” noted Commissioner Robert Powelson, who chaired the PUC when the issue of TNCs first appeared. “The passage of this bill is evidence of the level of bipartisan support that exists for permanent TNC service in Pennsylvania. It also represents recognition of the benefits that these app-based transportation services bring to customers in terms of service quality, pricing, and product offerings.”
The legislation approved today by the Governor becomes effective immediately, authorizing the Commission to craft the regulations, policies and orders necessary to license and regulate TNCs, with the exception of Philadelphia. The PUC will now initiate a rulemaking to address ride-hailing services.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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