HARRISBURG – The ride-sharing battle
in Pennsylvania finally reached the end following the legalization of such
services across the state.
Gov. Tom Wolf
recently signed into law Senate Bill 984, which aimed to legalize the operation
of ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft in Pennsylvania. Prior to this
development, the state only offered a temporary authority to the companies.
specific, the ride-sharing services were granted the license to operate when the
state plays host to nationwide events, during times of emergency like a train
breakdown, or other uncommon incidents. The enactment of SB 984 has put an end
to this back-and-forth between the companies and the state.
Apart from finally
reaching a resolution with the ride-sharing companies, the state also gained another
benefit from the law. One of the provisions of SB 984 is that two-thirds of the
tax revenue obtained from the services would be allocated to the funds of school
“This is a victory for
Philadelphia’s consumers, but it is also a victory for our schools. I am very
proud that the majority of the tax revenue generated by ride-sharing will go to
the Philadelphia School District,” state Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia) in a press
He added, “Our schools need every dollar that we can find, so I’m
pleased this was a part of the compromise to legalize ride-sharing in
Wolf also shared that
the new law aims to send a message to companies. He believed that this move
would encourage more businesses to invest in the commonwealth, especially since
Uber chose Pittsburgh as the headquarters for its advanced robotics research.
“I want to thank the Legislature for working with me to finally pass a long-term solution that will
allow ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate everywhere in
Pennsylvania,” Wolf said.
“This bill puts an end to any
question about these companies operating in our commonwealth, especially in
Wolf also pointed
out that the ride-sharing companies would greatly benefit the members of the community.
He noted that safety precautions implemented by these service providers,
such as thorough vetting of their drivers and background checks, provide added
protection to consumers.
State Rep. Robert
Godshall (R-Souderton), who was a supporter of the law along with Rep. Maria Donatucci
(D-Philadelphia) and Hughes, further discussed the benefits of the ride-sharing services to
“Transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft,
provide a tremendous service to the public – particularly those in areas with
limited or no taxicab service,” Godshall said. “It took four years and a lot of bipartisan work to reach the compromises
necessary for an agreement. Uber and Lyft have changed the way people travel in
urban, suburban and rural areas and I am pleased that they, and companies like
them, can now operate legally and permanently in the commonwealth.”
The law would set the
requirements, conditions and the regulatory framework for the operation of the
ride-sharing companies. It also covered provisions geared towards driver and
consumer protection. SB 984 was sponsored by Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Monongahela).