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Taxi drivers seek action against unlicensed ride services

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By Bobby Kerlik

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 8:27 p.m.

A group of 200 taxi drivers is suing the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in an attempt to force the agency to crack down on unlicensed ride services and to allow licensed drivers to charge higher fees.

Cabbie Central filed the lawsuit Jan. 31 in Commonwealth Court. James Jacobs, who represents the organization, said he wants the PUC to cite jitneys and ride-sharing services like Lyft, because neither follow PUC regulations. He also wants the regulatory agency to allow for a fuel surcharge, which had been in effect but expired last year.

“The (fares) are so low it's difficult for drivers to survive,” Jacobs said. “We also want the city to pursue jitneys criminally.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has said he would not support charging jitneys and supports Lyft, which began operating this month. The mayor wants the PUC to amend its rules to bring companies like Lyft into compliance.

Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.




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