How mobile-app services are changing Philly's taxi business

In part 2 of a series on city cab drivers, Randy LoBasso considers the impact of smartphone-summoned car rides.

By Randy LoBasso
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Mar. 12, 2014

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Several cities around the nation have been working to create new regulations to accommodate next-gen car services like Uber—and, in the case of Pittsburgh, a company called Lyft whose business model is not unlike what Sidecar was doing.

There may also be a third way.

Ronald Blount, of the Taxi Drivers Alliance, thinks he has something even newer, even better, to introduce into Philly’s professional driving universe. After years of conferring with cab drivers, and after countless fact-finding trips to key taxi locations like the airport and 30th Street Station, Blount thinks he’s figured out a way for Philly to change the system forever—while still playing by everyone’s rules. And if investors from all over the U.S., veteran drivers and organizing groups’ efforts and business plans are any indication, he may just be on to something.

For the third installment in PW’s look at the state of the Philadelphia taxi business, pick up the March 19 issue, or follow us online at and @phillyweekly on Twitter.

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1. Steve Chervenka said... on Mar 12, 2014 at 06:53PM

“This is the best article on the taxi industry in Philly so far. Blount has said it best, describing the frustration by career drivers whom care about serving people that the revenue is a one way street bypassing the drivers and the nonsense that goes on starts with the owners. In Toronto, a few are unhappy that their medallions are being replaced with a true independent contractor driver, and the only costs being that the cab must be disabled suitable, which is a win for any customer to actually get in a large cab and feel comfortable, and a win for drivers to feel comfortable and alleviate back and leg problems! Taxi customers, voice your opinion on supporting ways to award the good drivers!”


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