It’s puzzling that the Post-Gazette editorial board again is chastising the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for following the law instead of expediting the applications to begin service by Lyft and Uber (“Punitive PUC: Newcomers Pay for Challenging Cab Monopoly,” June 15 editorial). The Public Utility Code allows for public participation in the cases before the PUC.
Public participation and protests to filings before the PUC are out of our hands. Filings that are not protested are processed more quickly because they do not require additional filings and hearings. The suggestion that the PUC favors the existing taxi company over new entrants is simply untrue and unsubstantiated by PUC actions.
With a review of the applications for service filed by Lyft and Uber, the editorial board would have found that the companies made additional filings that further delayed the start of the hearings for their licenses. In fact, the ability to protest a filing before the PUC is the same process that Uber and Lyft may choose to use if they object to the proposed fines recommended by the PUC’s independent Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement.
The PUC is working to ensure the safety of the drivers, cars and that they have proper insurance while moving these cases through the legal process as quickly as possible. We must respect the law that provides an opportunity for interested parties to have a voice.
Public participation in state government is a good thing. Supporters of the process can participate as well — and have been. It’s something the PUC and the law encourages, not discourages.
Public Utility Commission