Ride-hailing services in Pa. can now apply for permanent authorization

Written by Rachel McDevitt/Radio Pennsylvania | Dec 9, 2016 3:33 AM

FILE - In this July 15, 2015 file photo, an Uber driver sits in his car near the San Francisco International Airport.(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

(Harrisburg) -- Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft appeared in Pennsylvania over two years ago. 

At first, they did business with no oversight.

But now after fines, settlements, experimental licenses and a new law, the companies can finally apply for a permanent license to operate in the commonwealth.

State Public Utility Commissioners have voted to implement the law signed by Governor Tom Wolf in November, which gave the PUC the ability to authorize and regulate transportation network companies  (TNCs) like Uber on a permanent basis.

Spokesman Nils Hagen-Frederiksen says the agency is proud of itself for issuing guidelines for TNCs early on that made their way into the final law.

"All along, since the very beginning, the commission has said we have the ability to do this from an experimental point-of-view, we want to do this from an experimental point-of-view because it's an innovation and we should be open to innovations, but we need a long term solution," he says.

Applications for permanent operation will need to show proof of adequate insurance, the company's financial situation, and compliance with other regulations regarding consumer safety.

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