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NEWS
February 14, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday approved a two-year certification for Lyft to operate throughout the state, except in Philadelphia, where the PUC does not regulate taxis or ride-share operators. In Philadelphia, Lyft operates in defiance of a ban by the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which has ruled ride-share operators that connect riders and private drivers through a smart-phone app are illegal taxi services. Lyft's larger competition, Uber, received similar approval last month.
NEWS
January 31, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday approved a two-year certification for Uber to operate throughout the state, except in Philadelphia, where the PUC does not regulate taxis or ride-share operators. In Philadelphia, UberX operates in defiance of a ban by the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which has ruled ride-share operators that connect riders and private drivers through a smart-phone app are illegal taxi services. The PUC in November had voted to grant Uber authority to operate statewide (except in Philadelphia)
NEWS
January 14, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the aftermath of the city's failed attempt to sell the Philadelphia Gas Works, state regulators announced plans Monday to step up pressure on the city to accelerate its 88-year gas-main replacement schedule. The Public Utility Commission's move to study PGW pipeline safety is aimed at speeding the rate at which the utility replaces brittle cast-iron mains. PGW operates one of the oldest and leakiest gas distribution systems in the nation. "We can't continue to have this utility run this way," PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson said.
BUSINESS
November 20, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Marian B. Tasco, the veteran city councilwoman who has led opposition to Mayor Nutter's proposed sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works, is unfazed that there may be hell to pay if PGW's $1.86 billion privatization fails. "The people who influence me are the 150,000 who live in my district, who say we should keep our utility," Tasco, the Ninth District councilwoman, said Tuesday after a meeting of the Philadelphia Gas Commission, the city body she chairs. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission signaled Friday that there might be serious repercussions if City Council did not give a fair hearing to the proposed $1.86 billion sale to UIL Holdings Corp.
NEWS
November 16, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth and Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writers
An exasperated Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission signaled there may be serious repercussions as a consequence of City Council's failure to consider a proposed $1.86 billion privatization of Philadelphia Gas Works. Two PUC members suggested the commission, the state body responsible for setting rates, could force the city to give up the $18 million annual fee it now receives from PGW and spend the money instead on speeding up gas-main replacement. PUC Commissioner James H. Cawley also suggested the legislature should consider removing City Council and its gas agency from any regulatory oversight of the municipal utility, eliminating a vexing jurisdictional overlap.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - UberX, the controversial ride-sharing service, won approval Thursday to operate in most of Pennsylvania, but not in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, which regulates taxi and limousine service in every county except Philadelphia, overruled its staff in a split decision, deciding that UberX can operate statewide for two years, if it meets requirements for auto insurance, driver background checks, and financial reporting....
NEWS
November 4, 2014 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Having snubbed Mayor Nutter's proposal to sell the Philadelphia Gas Works, City Council will hold its own hearings on the city-owned facilities Nov. 13 and 14. The second day of those hearings will overlap with a hearing on PGW by the state Public Utility Commission, which has asked Council President Darrell L. Clarke to appear. Jane Roh, spokeswoman for Clarke, said the conflict was a coincidence. "Our calendar is very tight," she said. "We were looking for the earliest dates we could find.
BUSINESS
October 25, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Peco Energy Co. could achieve $2.9 million to $5.7 million in annual savings and a one-time savings of up to $3.1 million, according to a management audit released Thursday by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The report by the PUC's Bureau of Audits makes 28 recommendations for improvement. They include reducing overtime levels, improving response rates to emergency orders, studying staffing levels and reviewing emergency and inactive inventory. The utility, which serves customers in Philadelphia and surrounding counties, indicated all recommendations will be implemented by first quarter 2017.
BUSINESS
September 27, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Uber, the ride-sharing company, should not be given permanent authority to operate in Pennsylvania, two administrative law judges for the state Public Utility Commission said in a decision released Thursday. The full PUC will decide, likely in November, whether to accept, deny, or modify the judges' recommendation. Uber and Lyft, another ride-sharing company, are operating in Pittsburgh under temporary authority from the PUC, granted after the two companies had been operating in defiance of an earlier PUC ban. Uber's defiance of the earlier cease-and-desist order was a factor in the judges' recommendation against permanent authority.
BUSINESS
September 24, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Uber, the ride-sharing company that matches riders with drivers by smartphone app, will now provide connections to wheelchair-accessible vehicles in Philadelphia, it said Monday. Uber has contracted with licensed paratransit drivers who have accessible vehicles, and customers can begin using the service immediately, Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett said Monday. The announcement came one day before a legislative committee is to meet in Harrisburg to consider legislation that would permit Uber and other ride-share services to operate in Philadelphia and around the state.
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