Ryan Briggs Ryan Briggs is a staff writer and connoisseur of City Hall intrigue, business dealings, neighborhood gossip and local lore. Ryan has studied, worked and resided in Philadelphia since 2004, covering politics and development issues for Hidden City, Next City and Metropolis, amongst other fine publications.
A popular app called Uber, which lets users order personal drivers through their computer or smartphone, has posted a job listing for a new logistics manager to expand service in Philadelphia. The description says the company is looking for someone "to help drive growth" and suggests that former fleet dispatchers should apply.
Reports have circulated since the summer that the service was eyeing expansion locally. However, the move raises questions about whether Uber's activities will draw the ire of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which recently clamped down on a competing ride-sharing service, called SideCar. The PPA, which licenses taxicabs in Philadelphia, argued that SideCar was "an unauthorized service provider" as its drivers do not possess taxi medallions. The company, which is financially backed by Google, disputed that and continued to operate, but suspended service in July.
UPDATE: Uber has avoided similar problems thus far by only offering a limited version of its service locally. A representative for the company told the CityPaper that, currently, the company only offers "UberBlack" in Philadelphia - a version of the service that allows users to order luxury towncars, all of which are driven by professional drivers licensed by the PPA.
"Uber does not provide ridesharing service in Philadelphia," said Nairi Hourdajian, the company's head of public policy.
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