Peduto Gives Uber a Lyft

Mayor asks the Public Utility Commission to open up the market for the ride-sharing companies.

 

It’s one of the oldest jokes in the book — but one that’s particularly relevant in Pittsburgh, even in the year 2014: “You can’t get there from here.”

Anyone who has ever tried to call a cab to the South Side or downtown after a late night out will be very happy to hear that Uber and Lyft, two competing ride-sharing companies new to the Pittsburgh market, have been given a boost today by Mayor Bill Peduto.

The mayor announced at an afternoon press conference that he will be sending a letter to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission requesting to change the strenuous (some say draconian) rules for public transportation providers.

While there are small differences, Uber and Lyft are both powered by apps that allow users to request drivers to their location via GPS. Drivers use their own cars, but passengers can request a quote before confirming the ride and paying by credit card, eliminating uncomfortable haggling and tipping.

Uber has been an enormous success in San Francisco and New York, where even regular yellow cabs use the app to accept fares more efficiently.

Most rides are slightly more expensive than a regular yellow cab (an Uber from South Side to Shadyside is around $7). But there’s one catch: Both Uber and Lyft have real-time surge-pricing during peak hours or poor weather conditions, which can lead to stunning bills for a cross-town ride … like this one:



 

Rookie mistake. Always request a quote.



 

#Crowdsourcing: 100th episode of ‘Pittsburgh Dad’ features ’Burghers

 

Pittsburgh Dad has a lot to celebrate: a signature beer from Full Pint Brewing Co., roughly 64,000 Twitter followers and instant recognition on everything from T-shirts to cookies.

Series co-creators Chris Preksta and Curt Wootton (Dad himself) invited fans to film themselves reciting their favorite “Pittsburgh Dad” lines. The young fan who appears at 45 seconds is adorable.

— Gideon Bradshaw



 

#SpringTraining: McCutchen takes the field


Check out Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Rob Biertempfel’s Instagram shot of McCutchen getting back to work. It’s been too long.

— John Lavanga



 

#Sorry: Chevron apologizes for gas explosions — with free pizza

Well, this is a strange one. Last week, a Chevron-owned gas well in Greene County exploded into flames, shaking the Earth and involving the company in a controversy over its handling of the incident. To make amends, CBS Pittsburgh reports that Chevron reached out to the immediate community with the ultimate cure-all: pizza. Employees went door to door handing out roughly 100 coupons for a free pizza and 2-liter drink. Talk about a flavor explosion.

We’re all familiar with the healing powers of free pizza, but it feels like Chevron needs a little tutelage in the art of apology pizza. Two tips: Always offer at least one topping. And let the quantity of pizza match the level of inconvenience.

— John Lavanga


Categories: The 412