Hokey pokey: Uber and Lyft beat back judge’s cease-and-desist order

Hokey pokey: Uber and Lyft beat back judge’s cease-and-desist order
Metro file photo

Uber and Lyfthave triumphed over a Philly judge, beating back a cease-and-desist orderafter little more than24 hours.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Linda Carpenter’s order Thursday shutting down Uber and Lyft from operating in the city was overturned Friday afternoon by a Commonwealth Court judge who granted an emergency petition for a restraining order.

“After today’s victory in Commonwealth Court, Uber is no longer subject to Judge [Linda] Carpenter’s cease-and-desist order,” said Uber spokesman Craig Ewer in a statement. “Uber celebrates riders and drivers staying on the road in Philadelphia, but the Commonwealth still needs permanent ridesharing legislation from the General Assembly. If Harrisburg does not act in the next two weeks, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians could again lose access to affordable transportation and meaningful income opportunities.”

The cease-and-desist order came days after a “truce” with the Philadelphia Parking Authority expired on Sept. 30.

Carpenter had issued that order while rulingon a lawsuit filed to stop the truce brokered between Uber and the Philadelphia Parking Authority over the summer that would allowthe popular ride sharing services to operate without any threat of enforcement, pending the passagein Harrisburg of proposed legislation to legalize the services in Philadelphia. The lawsuit had been filed by competing cabbies and others.

“We are encouraged by today’s news and remain focused on working with legislators in Harrisburg to pass permanent rules for ridesharing in Pennsylvania,” said Chelsea Harrison, a spokeswoman for Lyft, which was not named in the lawsuit but was alsoordered to halt operations by Judge Carpenter’s order.

Pennsylvania lawmakers hammered out an agreement that would legalize Uber and Lyft in May that all sides said had enough votes to become law, and Gov. Tom Wolf said he would sign.

But the full state House of Representatives has yet to vote on the bill, despite being back in legislative session for a full month. It already passed in the state Senate.