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October 07, 2016

State judge halts ban on UberX, Lyft operations in Philadelphia

Courts Ridesharing
Carroll - Uber Lyft Taxi Showdown Thom Carroll, File/PhillyVoice

An UberX driver keeps his Uber sticker in his car console when driving in Philly.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson temporarily halted an injunction Friday on ridesharing companies in Philadelphia.

Simpson ruled that Common Pleas Court Judge Linda Carpenter's decision Thursday to ban ridesharing companies like UberX and Lyft from operating in the city would harm those companies. Simpson ruled after a late-afternoon telephone conference call with the parties, according to court records. 

RELATED STORY: State lawmakers to consider bill legalizing Uber, Lyft in Philly

The cease-and-desist ordered by Judge Carpenter arose from a lawsuit filed by the city's taxi drivers against the Philadelphia Parking Authority earlier this summer.

The ridesharing companies said earlier this week that they would continue to operate as usual despite the possibility of harsher penalties due to the cease-and-desist order. Simpson ruling doesn't mean the companies are now operating legally, however, since the PPA doesn't recognize them.

The Pennsylvania legislature, however, approved a temporary agreement that made services like Lyft and UberX legal in Philadelphia. That agreement expired Saturday.

Uber issued a statement regarding Friday's decision:

After [Friday's] victory in Commonwealth Court, Uber is no longer subject to Judge Carpenter's cease and desist order. Uber celebrates riders and drivers staying on the road in Philadelphia, but the Commonwealth still needs permanent ridesharing legislation from the General Assembly. If Harrisburg does not act in the next two weeks, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians could again lose access to affordable transportation and meaningful income opportunities.