These days, I think everyone is using or working for some sort of ride-sharing service. Of these, the most popular has proven to be Uber, which is running into problems left and right in places with strong cabbie culture but a real boon to places without taxis. Everyone but cabbies and state governments, who miss the tax revenues. Uber faces a record $50 million fine in Pennsylvania for operating without government approval.
The time period covers the six months from when Uber started operating in the state, February 2014, and when they received emergency approval to act in the state six months later. Uber operated in the state for hundreds of rides, even including ignoring a cease-and-desist order for a month, before getting two years of temporary approval to operate from the Public Utility Commission, which regulates taxi service. Uber believed that a license obtained by a subsidiary in the state was sufficient, and that the company’s ride-sharing service was allowed by law, since they were a provider of software not a provider of services. The judges didn’t agree.
“Uber took a more active role in providing transportation service than simply providing the Uber app for people with cars to use to provide rides for people who need transportation — it was not a disinterested invisible entity in the background,” wrote judges Mary Long and Jeffrey Watson in the decision.
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