Regulations

Philly Operators Try To Rein In Their Regulatory Daddy

Posted on May 5, 2010 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

A recent court decision boosts the PRLA’s legislative push to make sure Philadelphia operators no longer have to follow excessive rules and fees that don’t apply to all other operators in Pennsylvania.

PHILADELPHIA — The PHILADELPHIA REGIONAL LIMOUSINE ASSOCIATION (PRLA) is one step closer to success on changing the way they are regulated in city limits.

Pennsylvania House Representative Thaddeus Kirkland (D) has introduced HB2434 which has identical language to the PRLA’s previously introduced Senate Bill SB759. If approved by the Pennsylvania State House and Senate, the bills will require the Philadelphia Parking Authority to be able to enforce only those laws which are enacted by the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

The PUC regulates the entire state, except for Philadelphia. The association would like to remove the onerous fines and fees that are assessed by the PPA. The PPA rules occur without the benefit of public hearings, as is the case with the Public Utilities Commission.

PRLA members will be visiting their state representatives to garner their support on these bills. Operators in the Philadelphia region continue to struggle to compete because of the high cost to operate due in part to the fees levied by the PPA. They believe the new bills will provide relief while still maintaining the high levels of service provided by the industry to the consumers.

The PRLA received good news on Wednesday, April 28 when the Commonwealth Court ruled the PPA could not enforce its taxi regulations because it had not followed the rules of the Commonwealth when establishing them, including the need for public hearings before enactment.

ADDITIONAL COVERAGE OF RULING AGAINST PPA HERE

Germantown Cab took the agency to court to uphold that it was a Commonwealth agency and therefore must follow state rules, including posts in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and allowing for comment and hearings. Additionally they must then be vetted by the state attorney general or the independent Regulatory Review Board.

Philip Jagiela, president of the PRLA, said, “This brings us one step closer to rid our industry of the onerous fines and redundant fees that we must pay to both the PPA and the Public Utilities Commission. We believe that the rules that the remainder of the state abide by should be more then sufficient for Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Parking Authority would still enforce the laws but they would be set by the PUC.”

— Reported by Linda Jagiela, PRLA member and industry writer

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