Pennsylvania PUC Cracks Down On Lyft, Uber Drivers

The battle for Pittsburgh’s passengers has heated up, with the Public Utility Commission issuing its first citations since two ride-share companies moved into the area earlier this year.

Court records show PUC enforcement officer Charles Bowser cited 23 drivers of ride-share companies Lyft and Uber between March 31 and April 21. Each driver is cited for operating a passenger carrier without a certificate of public convenience. The citations, issued through the office of District Justice Gene Ricciardi, were all dated April 22, and are being mailed to drivers.

According to court records, the trips cited by Mr. Bowser included four to 777 Casino Drive, which is the Rivers Casino; three trips to 300 West Station Square Drive, which is the Sheraton Station Square hotel; and six trips to 600 Commonwealth Place, which is the Wyndham Grand hotel.

PUC spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher said the enforcement officer’s actions — taking rides, then citing the drivers — were not atypical for enforcement procedures.

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PPL Plans To Cut Rates For Electricity

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The state Public Utility Commission really wants electric users to switch from their utility to one of the dozens of alternative suppliers.

But PPL Electric Utilities inadvertently keeps giving electric users more motivation to stick with them.

PPL will cut its residential rate by 4.1 percent Friday, reflecting the cheaper prices it’s paying to obtain power on the wholesale market.

This latest change, announced Tuesday, is the third consecutive quarterly rate reduction for PPL.

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New Fee Could Be Added To PPL Bills

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This spring, PPL electricity customers’ bills will get more complicated – and more expensive.

A new rate will be levied on PPL electric bills called the distribution system improvement charge, or DSIC.  The impact on the average bill may be modest at first, just a few cents, but it will rise as PPL seeks to raise $705 million from ratepayers to fund ambitious replacement and improvement of the electrical distribution system.

If approved, the new rate will be levied as early as May 1, could be subject to change before then and then every three months thereafter.

The rate is starting out small, just a fraction of a percent of PPL’s components of the bill: the customer charge and distribution rate.  The impact on the average bill will be minimal at first – just 7 cents.  But PPL has the ability to change that rate every quarter, up to 5 percent.

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PPL To Seek Fee To Help Pay For Upgrades

PPL Electric Utilities is planning $705 million in improvements to its infrastructure over the next five years and is turning to its customers to help pay the bill.

PPL spokesman Bryan Hay said the company plans to file a petition this week with the state Public Utility Commission asking for a new fee that would help fund improvements to the company’s distribution system.

Hay did not provide specifics about the new charge, but said details would be released this week.

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PPL Customers Will See About 4 Percent Increase In Bill

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Customers of PPL Electric Utilities will see monthly bills increase by about 4 percent next year, resulting from recent state Public Utility Commission action.

The PUC on Dec. 5 granted Allentown-based PPL a 10.4 percent rate of return on income for shareholders.  The approval will increase the average bill for residential customers using 1,000 kilowatts of electricity monthly by about $4.77 to $116.37, according to a PUC estimate.

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PPL Eyes New Round Of Energy Initiatives

Got an old fridge to get rid of? PPL Electric Utilities still will take it, pay you and recycle it.

Want new discount-price CFL bulbs?  PPL still will sell them to you.

Hope to get paid for trimming your air-conditioning use next summer?  Sorry, those days are gone.

PPL on Friday asked for state approval of its second generation of “E-power” energy-efficiency initiatives.

The 18 measures, subject to the state Public Utility Commission‘s action, are a mix of first-generation carryovers and newcomers.

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Oversight Of Allegheny County Transit To Shift From Pittsburgh Port Authority To Public Utility Commission

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pennsylvania Legislature has approved a measure stripping the Port Authority of its power to regulate transportation services in Allegheny County, transferring it to the state’s Public Utility Commission.

Supporters of the measure, sponsored by House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, said it will end the Port Authority’s “monopoly” on providing transit service in the county.

“By allowing other transportation agencies to offer services, the people will be far better served,” Mr. Turzai said in a news release after the Senate approved the bill in a 27-21 vote. “Eliminating the transit monopoly is a win-win for taxpayers and transit riders.”

The bill was passed earlier by the House and now awaits Gov. Tom Corbett‘s approval. He will sign it, spokeswoman Kelli Roberts said.

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