Judge orders UberX, Lyft to halt services in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A judge has ordered UberX and Lyft to stop operating their ride-hailing services in Philadelphia.

"Ever since I started doing Uber and Lyft, I don't live check to check anymore," said Andre Williams, Uber and Lyft driver. "Until I get a notification from Uber or Lyft saying I can't drive, I will still drive."

Both companies tell Action News they're "reviewing the order," and late Thursday Uber added, "While our appeal is pending... Uber will remain available for riders and drivers."

"Sometimes we have to wait three hours, four hours for one ride," said Darryl Hill, cab driver.

The order from Common Pleas Judge Linda Carpenter stems from a lawsuit filed by the president of the Taxi Workers Alliance of Philadelphia and others in July.

State lawmakers gave the ride-hailing services temporary authorization to operate in Philadelphia before the Democratic National Convention that month. But that legislation expired last week.

The order states the San Francisco-based companies could be held in contempt of court if they operate after Thursday.

"I feel better. I feel better," said Syed Ahmad, cab driver.

Loyal Uber and Lyft customers say they are the ones who suffer the most.

"Trying to get a cab in the city is a joke. You don't get there quick enough. At least you can order it, come outside, see the person and go," said Cara Staley of Northeast Philadelphia.

Customers won't be fined for ordering the service, but drivers caught could face $1,000 fines.

But that doesn't faze drivers like Williams.

"I could pay that fine. Uber and Lyft is a way of life now. It's just a way of life," said Williams.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority says starting Friday they will begin enforcing against illegal ride-sharing services.

Uber and Lyft are hoping state lawmakers work something out when they reconvene on Oct. 17.

Uber released the following statement on Thursday night:

While our appeal is pending at the Commonwealth Court, Uber will remain available for riders and drivers. This situation makes it clear that Harrisburg needs to act: Pennsylvania must have permanent, statewide ridesharing legislation as soon as possible.


The Associated Press contributed to this post.
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