PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Uber Looking to Expand to State College

The fast-growing and tepidly controversial ride-sharing company Uber is apparently looking to expand its services to State College. The company is petitioning the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to grant Uber a statewide permit, and it mentions State College as one of the potential cities for expansion.

“[Last month], the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) will decide whether to grant a license for ridesharing statewide, which would allow Uber to extend beyond just Pittsburgh and Philadelphia,” the petition reads. “If granted, this license will mark an important step toward addressing a pressing need for safe, affordable, and reliable rides in areas like Harrisburg, State College, Reading, the Lehigh Valley, Gettysburg, Erie… and everywhere in between.”

State College is also now listed among the cities on Uber’s website where drivers can sign up.

Uber has made waves in urban communities for providing a transparent alternative to taxis in 170 cities. Riders use a phone app to book rides through a network of drivers who have individual ratings. The app tracks the car as it makes its way to your destination, and provides an upfront fare estimate based on surge pricing, which adjusts the price based on time of day and number of cars on the road to reach market equilibrium. Payment is handled entirely through the app and automatically charged to the customer’s credit card for even more convenience.

What makes Uber controversial — and the potential legal roadblock for bringing the company to smaller communities like State College — is that it doesn’t operate on the standard taxi medallion system, which limits the number of cabbies in each city. This has traditional cab companies pissed off — they would likely call Uber an illegal unlicensed taxicab service, while Uber has called the taxi system a cartel. Uber hired former Barack Obama campaign manager and White House adviser David Plouffe to lead its national lobby to help convince local and state governments to allow Uber into more communities.

Uber currently operates under city ordinances in both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, where the company claims DUI rates have seen a steady decline since its arrival.

“We want to show what great transportation looks like, from Pittsburgh to Seoul and all the other cities in between,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said on media conference call. “I think ultimately progress will win. Our experience in cities around the world shows progress is inevitable.”

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]


State College Links
Follow on Another Platform
Other posts by Kevin

Hometown Brewery Releases Beer Honoring Evan Pugh

Penn State’s first president Evan Pugh was born in 1828 at Jordan Bank Farm, three miles south of the city center of Oxford, Pennsylvania, an hour west of Philadelphia in Chester County. One-hundred eighty-nine years later, an Oxford brewery is honoring one of the preeminent champions of “liberal and practical” higher education in the form of a delicious Porter.

Penn State Basketball Downs Colgate 72-59 In Front of Thanksgiving Eve Crowd

Why Honoring Paterno Still Matters

No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Outlasts No. 2 Iowa 19-13

Penn State’s second top-five matchup in the last week was successful, to say the very least.

No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Outlasts No. 2 Iowa 19-13

Penn State’s second top-five matchup in the last week was successful, to say the very least.

One HUB, Three Meals, & $20: How To Construct A Cheap Diet On Campus

Can you cover a day’s worth of meals in the HUB? We put a Hamilton to the test.

Neeli Bendapudi To Take Office On May 10

Bendapudi will ease into her new role through a transitional phase that’s expected to begin in March, Penn State said.

Send this to a friend