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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, among other local Pittsburgh news outlets, recently highlighted the legal issues surrounding ride share companies Lyft and Uber and their operations in Pittsburgh. The San Francisco-based companies “match drivers and passengers via smartphone apps, enlisting drivers to use their own cars to transport customers,” reports the Post-Gazette.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement requested petitions for cease-and-desist orders of the two start-up companies, claiming that the companies “broker transportation using uncertified motor carriers” and that their operations “pose substantial threats to public safety.”

“The draconian relief requested in the petition, i.e., the preclusion of a needed service that is highly valued by consumers in the Pittsburgh area, requires a compelling set of facts and circumstances that are simply not present here,” Karen O. Moury, of counsel at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, wrote in her response to the PUC’s petition on behalf of Uber.

Moury continued in the response stating the cease-and-desist petition should be denied entirely, noting that Uber has pending applications to operate before the PUC.

The judge is set to decide whether to grant the PUC’s cease-and-desist orders by July 1. 

Read the full article – “PUC Prepares for Showdown with Lyft, Uber” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 25, 2014)