If you need a ride this holiday weekend and happen to live in Pittsburgh, don't even bother trying Lyft or Uber. That's because a pair of judges recently issued cease-and-desist orders to both companies, barring them from doing business until they receive approval to do so from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).
Judges Mary D. Long and Jeffrey A. Watson recognized the fact that citizens want (and need) services like Lyft and Uber operating in the city but they said safety was more important. As such, they'll need to obtain Certificates of Public Convenience before their drivers are able to return to the streets to give rides.
As the Pittsburgh Business Times points out, both companies have filed for the certificates but haven't received them yet.
The competing services both require drivers to submit to background checks, carry $1 million in insurance and have up-to-date vehicle inspections. Neither, however, require Certificates of Public Convenience as this is a state-specific mandate.
Interestingly enough, the commission said its three biggest concerns as it relates to these services are background checks, proper insurance coverage and, you guessed it, vehicle inspections - or in other words, the three things the companies already require.
A spokesperson for Lyft said the decision will make it harder for people to access affordable and modern transportation options. A PUC spokesperson told the publication they are working with Lyft and Uber toward certification.