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Friday, October 27, 2017

PUC Cautions Consumers About Using Unlicensed Taxi, Limo or Ride-Hailing Transportation Services Advertising on Social Media

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today cautioned consumers about using unauthorized transportation services, including individuals who solicit riders using ads on Facebook and other social media sites, which could result in unsafe travel, high rates and unreliable service.

“State regulations for taxis, ride-hailing services, limousines, party busses and other similar services are focused on ensuring safe and dependable service,” said PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown. “The PUC monitors carriers for driver safety, including regular criminal background checks and reviews of driving records; proof of insurance; vehicle safety inspections; rates; and customer service.”

Pennsylvania passenger transportation services outside of the city of Philadelphia are required to obtain a PUC certificate of public convenience. The Philadelphia Parking Authority has jurisdiction over operators providing services within Philadelphia city limits, as well as from an airport, railroad station or hotel located in Philadelphia.

“Consumers across the state have many different options available to them, ranging from traditional street-hail taxis to ride-hailing services arranged from their smart phones, all functioning under similar guidelines,” Chairman Brown noted. “Unlicensed services – including those using Facebook, Craigslist or other sites to advertise cheaper rides – bypass these important safeguards, leaving riders at risk.”

Before using a service, the Commission urges consumers to check the backgrounds of carriers to verify that they are authorized and properly insured. Additionally, consumers can view the complaint histories of certificated carriers on the PUC website, including formal complaints filed against all regulated entities.

Consumers can check the status of a carrier or its violation history on the PUC website, call the PUC toll free at 1-800-692-7380, or contact the closest district office of the PUC’s Motor Carrier Enforcement Section:

Western Region - 412-432-9310
Eastern Region - 717-787-7598
Philadelphia - 215-965-3721
Northeast Region - 570-963-4590
Division Headquarters - 717-783-5010

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.pa.gov. Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility. “Like” Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Facebook for easy access to information on utility issues.

1 comment :

Unknown said...

Please be advised that the Western Regional Office's phone number is 412-423-9310 not 9303 as stated in the press release. The Secretary's Bureau is supposed to have it corrected on the PUC webpage soon.