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January 19, 2015

Get ready for ‘Lyft-off in Philadelphia’

New rideshare service is projected to come to the city

A new rideshare service is en route to Philadelphia, offering passengers friendly rides for less than the cost of a cab and adding some competition for Uber.

And like its competitor, Lyft is also not welcome in these parts – at least not by the Philadelphia Parking Authority and its licensed cabbies.

  • Christian Alexandersen of PennLive explained the differences between these two ridesharing services. 

Users connect with Uber or Lyft drivers (who are using their personal cars) via a smartphone app. The app allows users to pay for the service on their credit card and get a receipt, all electronically.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission voted in the fall to give experimental licenses to UberX and Lyft, respectively, to operate around the state. But the commission doesn’t oversee the Philadelphia area - the PPA does.

Rideshare drivers caught chauffeuring passengers in the city will be fined upward of $1,000 and their cars will be impounded. On top of that, a group of Philadelphia taxi companies filed suit against Uber in federal court last month, alleging the app-based taxi service is bringing unfair competition since the city’s cab drivers must operate under state laws and expensive regulations. 

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t still operating.

Lyft is currently advertising for drivers on Craiglist and is promising them $1,500 a week plus a bonus for referring other drivers.


Lyft Philly

Lyft Philly employees may operate out of coworking space City Coho at 2401 Walnut St., where Billy Penn reportedly saw Lyft signage.