Pa. lawmakers look to strengthen oversight of Uber and Lyft

Written by Brad Christman/Radio PA | May 4, 2016 11:57 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Eric Risberg

(Harrisburg) -- A state House panel has advanced a proposal aimed at providing more oversight and regulations for ride-hailing services, like Uber and Lyft.

They've been operating in the commonwealth for years, initially without regulatory approval which resulted in a hefty fine.

The services now operate with temporary approval everywhere in the state but Philadelphia. 

The House Consumer Affairs Committee has passed Senate legislation that would legitimize the industry from a regulatory standpoint.     

An amendment passed by the panel is meant to overcome the biggest sticking points involving Philadelphia.

Committee Chair Robert Godshall says the Philadelphia concerns were ironed out during negotiations last week at the mayor's office.

Republican Representative Gene DiGirolamo of Bucks County says while he voted yes, he's still has trust issues with these companies and has concerns about fairness for other services who have been operating legally for a very long time.

"Darn it, what about our small business that have been following the rules and regulations for so many years?" he asked. "Uber & Lyft just come in and it just appears that they didn't follow any of the rules and regulations."

Democratic Representative Pete Daley of Washington County serves as the panel's minority chair.

"We know there are specific concerns of the medallion owners and we have told them various times that some of their issues, quite don't fit in this particular compartment. and we will be introducing and doing legislation that will address specific concerns that they may have," he said. This legislation was probably not the right vehicle, but another piece of legislation very shortly will be."

The bill now goes to the full House, where further debate and additional amendments are possible.

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