Over 150 cabs in Philadelphia are out of service after officials with the Philadelphia Parking Authority shut down a local taxi company.
On Thursday, a PPA judge told officials with the Germantown Cab Company that it 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, claims 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.”
PPA officials say they acted in the best interest of the public.
“It’s the parking authority’s responsibility to help ensure that all these cabs have the requisite insurance, that the drivers are properly trained and that they have the criminal background checks,” Casey said. “Right now Germantown Cab has failed to provide that information to the parking authority.”
Henry claims the PPA is unfairly painting the company in a bad light.
“To say that there’s a public issue here is false,” Henry said. “The Public Utility Commission(PUC) regulates the Germantown Cab Company. They inspect the vehicles for safety and they inspect the driver records for their requirements and my clients pay assessments to the PUC.”
Henry filed an emergency injunction. Officials with the Germantown Cab Company plan to fight the PPA’s ruling in court, starting next week. Until then however, the cabs will remain out of service.