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How Philadelphians are Responding to Transportation Issues in the City

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

Many are opting to use the convenience of an Uber or Lyft to get to and from the airport here in Philadelphia, much like many of the other cities of its size. Business of Apps says Uber, for example, increased its ride usage by about 20 percent, with many of those increases due to the business travel needs of a person living in a large city. This has been linked directly back to the Taxi services losing money. Where they were once the number one choice of transportation, business travelers are leaning more towards the convenience of these phone applications over the sometimes shoddy Taxi services throughout the city.

One business traveler in Philadelphia named Bob Elriche has to fly in and out of the city at least three times a month for his career as an English to Spanish translator. He says his use of Taxi’s has dwindled to almost nothing since his first time using Uber. “I had always taken a taxi to get to and from the airport, but now that Uber is so popular, there is always one only a couple of minutes away,” he said. “This way I don’t have to wave one down or call a service that isn’t necessarily going to send someone right away.”

On the other hand, though, Uber was technically banned in the city of Philadelphia for just that reason earlier this fall. The decision was lifted and now allowed for Uber and Lyft services to continue to flourish in the city. But Ted Millstein, the lawyer representing the taxi drivers, said the devastation taxi services are noticing in profits is unacceptable according to an article on Philly.com. “What is happening is the taxi market is shrinking and there are more people using Uber and Lyft,” Millstein said. “Revenues are down 40 percent and at the same time they are raising assessments. The industry is a shambles.”

Beyond just their trips to and from the airport, the Philadelphia International Airport, according to its website, is ranked number 19 in the amount of passengers using the facility. Furthermore, it is ranked number 14 for the number of takeoffs and landings being made. These trips, which are becoming more consumed of business travelers, have pumped over $14.4 billion dollars into the United States economy. One woman, Joanne Peterson, who works as a consultant for Comcast in Center City, says the company spends just about $1,000 every two months for her travels. “It becomes extremely expensive to travel constantly, not only for the company, but also for me,” she said. “Each time I have to go to another place, I am buying food, drinks, hotel space, the list goes on and on, so I think business travel is extremely important to the economy.” 

Temple University Student | Journalism Major
Samara is currently a senior Journalism major at Temple University. She has always possessed a passion for writing and currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Her Campus Temple. Eventually, she hopes to work in the magazine industry. In her free time, she loves exploring the city of Philadelphia, trying new restaurants, and attending concerts. Samara can be reached at samara.grossel@temple.edu.