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Gov. signs rushed bill that really makes Uber, Lyft legal in Philly

The last-minute legislation was signed into law on Wednesday evening.
Metro file photo

Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation this week that will allow Uber and Lyft to operate legally into the fall.

"We thank the leadership of the General Assembly for taking action to support ridesharing in Philadelphia," said an Uber spokesman in a statement. "The legislation passed today will help ease transportation challenges in Philadelphia this summer, including during the DNC."

The move comes just a week after Uber and the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA)struck a 90-day truceduring which UberX and UberPool services would be considered "semi-legalized."

PPA leaders said they in part agreed to temporarily stop any enforcement actions of Uber drivers in Philadelphia to provide more transportation options to the area during the upcoming Democratic National Convention while SEPTA's Regional Rail grapples with the Silverliner V crisis.

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The deal included an agreement that the PPA's outstanding fines against Uber for operating illegally in Philadelphia would be settled for $350,000. Lyft was not included in the agreement.

Acoalition of Uber and Lyft opponentsincluding cabbies, Uber Black drivers and disablity activists brought them to trial Tuesday, seeking an injunction to bar the truce. They technically won before a city judge who said she would order a "stay" on the truce. But the judge's final order only upheld that UberX was illegal in Philadelphia, and no enforcement action was ordered.

The state budget bill now reinforces the truce as legal through Sept. 30.

"We applaud the Pennsylvania legislature for its overwhelming support and adoption of compromise ridesharing language that puts in place a temporary operating framework for ridesharing across all 67 counties and provides much needed immediate funding for Philadelphia school children," saidSteve DelBianco, the executive director of NetChoice, on behalf of the state ridesharing coalitionDriving Philly Forward, which includes Lyft.

A chunk of the tax revenue from Uber and Lyft is going toward the School District of Philadelphia,Philly.comreported.

A deal recently brokered in Harrisburg that wouldpermanently legalize Uber and Lyftis considered likely to become law during the fall session of the legislature.

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