As a SEPTA strike looms, Uber, which it fighting its own battle against the established taxi system in Philadelphia, stands to profit.
A SEPTA work stoppage could halt city bus, subway and trolley service as early as Monday, leaving app-based ride-share company Uber, and the company’s new UberX service, in a position to pick up new passengers.
For its part, the San Francisco-based company estimated to be worth billions, did not mention the possibility of more business in a statement to NBC10.
"Uber will continue to be the safest, most reliable ride on the road,” said company spokesman Taylor Bennett. "And with UberX now an option, we’re also the most affordable way to get around Philadelphia."
However, that new UberX service -- which uses regular cars instead of limousine service like the regular Uber -- will be operating without the blessing of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which licenses cabs in the city.
UberX launched last weekend, offering free rides to those who downloaded the app. The inaugural weekend became contentious when the PPA made good on it's threats and fined drivers and impounded UberX cars.
"This is an abuse of power and a deliberate attempt to protect the status quo that has failed Philadelphians for too long," said Bennett. "We will continue to provide the safest, most affordable ride on the road, and fully stand behind our partners and will cover the cost of any unjust citations."
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter showed his support for Uber, and fellow ride-sharing app Lyft, in a tweet. He begged the PPA and ride-sharing services to work out their differences, although it’s doubtful that will happen ahead of Monday’s possible strike date.