Cabs for a local taxi company were officially allowed back on the streets after turning over documents to the PPA.
On March 6, a PPA judge told officials with the Germantown Cab Company that they could no longer operate in Philadelphia because they failed to turn over proper documentation and background checks for their drivers. Prior to the decision, PPA officials say they had been in a long court fight with the company, trying to get them to comply with regulations.
“We want every member of the riding public to be able to enter a cab and feel confident that they are stepping into a safe cab,” said PPA Attorney Michael Casey.
Michael Henry, an attorney for Germantown Cab, claimed the PPA didn’t give the company a fair chance before shutting them down however.
“The PPA shut us down without a hearing,” Henry said. “Basically they just declared that we were out of service and didn’t give us an opportunity to defend ourselves.”
Henry filed an emergency injunction to fight the PPA's ruling and a hearing was set for March 13. However, PPA officials claimed the cabs were supposed to remain out of service until then.
That wasn't the case however. After NBC10 aired and published the original story, we immediately received emails from viewers who claimed the cab company was still in service.
NBC10 confirmed Germantown Cab was in service after we called a dispatcher for the company on March 8. Those cabs were also still in service last week when NBC10's Harry Hairston went out into Center City.
Hairston got rides from two cab drivers with the company. The first cab driver, who recognized Harry, even turned off the meter and insisted on not charging him for the ride.
"This ride is going to be a compliment of me," the driver said.
When asked about the ruling, the second driver told Harry the PPA didn't have any authority over the company.
NBC10 reached out to Henry a second time and asked why the cabs were still in service. According to Henry, the PPA agreed to let the 150 cabs in the company stay on the road until the March 13 hearing.
"We contacted them and told them we had a hearing," Henry said. "The enforcement department told us they would not shut us down prior to the hearing."
Officials with the PPA denied this however and say they fined any cabs that were caught operating in the city prior to the hearing $500.
On Monday, PPA officials told NBC10 that the cab company finally submitted the required documents and their taxis are allowed back on the streets as a result. However, they also say they will shut down the company immediately if they find a violation in the submitted documents.