HARRISBURG - The Philadelphia School District would receive a portion of receipts generated by Uber and other ride-sharing services in the city under language that budget negotiators have inserted in a fiscal bill.
The bill, passed by the House and the Senate on Wednesday, also would let companies such as Uber and Lyft operate legally in the city at least until Sept. 30. Uber already had secured that permission in an agreement announced last week.
Under the measure, which awaits Gov. Wolf's signature, ride-sharing services would pay 1 percent of their gross receipts from fares that originate in the city to the Philadelphia Parking Authority. The cash-strapped School District would get about two-thirds of that money, and the PPA would keep the rest. It was uncertain how much money would be generated.
The Philadelphia ride-sharing issue has been a source of contention in the Capitol, where legislation to legalize it has been slow to move.
The Public Utility Commission has allowed Uber and Lyft to operate temporarily in the state, but it does not oversee transportation businesses in Philadelphia; that is the PPA's job. Critics have said the agency has allowed politics to interfere with the legalization process.
Uber and PPA applauded the bill. PPA spokesman Martin O'Rourke called it a "positive step," given SEPTA's recent problems with structural flaws that forced it to take a third of its rail fleet out of commission and the potential congestion associated with the approaching Democratic National Convention.
Ride-sharing services have become popular and controversial. In Philadelphia, they have used drivers without commercial licenses, and the Parking Authority has at times pulled over drivers and impounded their cars.
The Daily News reported this year that the PPA had conspired with taxi companies to ensure that ride-sharing services remained unregulated, operating illegally, in Philadelphia. In response, Uber called the PPA untrustworthy and urged the legislature to regulate ride-sharing services in Philadelphia.
On Thursday, Uber and the PPA announced a temporary agreement, effective through Sept. 30.