Public Utility Commission hearing arguments against Lyft |

Public Utility Commission hearing arguments against Lyft

Judges from the state Public Utility Commission heard arguments Wednesday from several taxi companies protesting ride-sharing company Lyft’s attempt to get permanent approval.

The PUC approved a temporary 60-day approval for both Lyft and rival Uber to operate in Allegheny County earlier this month.

Both companies are seeking permanent legal status from the PUC.

Several taxi companies also protested Uber’s application at its hearing last week.

Taxi companies claim Lyft and Uber are creating an unlevel playing field because they are not subject to the same PUC rules.

“They don’t have to put the same expenses out – inspections, oil changes, they don’t have to buy decals. I have to do all of this; they don’t,” said Ronald Winkelvoss, president of several Philadelphia area taxi companies. “It’s unfair competition.”

The administrative law judges hearing the cases are expected to rule next month.

Lyft and Uber allow users to request a ride via a smartphone application from drivers providing rides in their personal vehicle.

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