I was surprised to see the Post-Gazette’s take on recent actions by the Public Utility Commission to enforce the law in Pittsburgh (“Back Off, PUC,” April 30).
I thought you overlooked the key motivation for the PUC’s actions: public safety.
The PUC is in charge of taxi services and ride-sharing in Pennsylvania, and one of its officers gave tickets to Uber and Lyft for operating illegally.
Uber and Lyft applied to the PUC for approval to open up shop here in Pittsburgh. Part of the approval process includes making sure their vehicles are insured and maintained regularly and that drivers face background checks. Those common-sense measures make the roads safer for everyone.
Uber and Lyft knew they were breaking the rules by operating without approval.
These safety rules are crucially important, especially in light of problems facing these companies in other markets. In San Francisco, an Uber driver between trips struck three people and killed a 6-year-old girl. Since he didn’t have a passenger at the time of the accident, Uber denied all responsibility for the tragedy, including insurance coverage.
It’s up to the PUC to ensure that Pittsburghers get a higher standard of safety and corporate responsibility, that the rules designed to keep passengers and pedestrians safe are followed. I applaud the PUC for doing its duty.