General Rules and Regulations for Rideshare Drivers in Pittsburgh

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Rideshare services and companies hold Pittsburgh to a certain standard. Uber chose this city to become the flagship for testing its innovative self-driving car, and even poached a number of Carnegie Mellon University robotics PhD students to work for Uber. With the industry frontrunners taking an invested interest in the city, Pittsburgh is a key location for professional and casual drivers seeking work.

As the rideshare driver population continues to increase and new innovations appear, it’s more important than ever that regulations follow suit. Many of the same rules and issues from other cities also apply to drivers in Pittsburgh.

Basic Vehicle Requirements in Pittsburgh

The vehicle requirements vary only slightly between the two major services Uber and Lyft, with the majority of the difference being the required age for your rideshare car. The vehicle age could also vary according to the city you’re working in. For Pittsburgh:

Uber

Lyft

zTrip

Model Year 2006 or Newer (hybrids 2004 or newer)Model Year 2007 or NewerVehicle is Provided
4-door car or minivan4-door car, 5-8 seats (including driver)Taxicab or 4-door black sedan
Good condition with no cosmetic damage Vehicle maintenance included
Pass vehicle inspectionPass DMV check and background checkPass DMV check and background check
Driver’s License Required (>21 years old)Driver’s License Required (>21 years old)Driver’s License Required (>21 years old)
Current official (or temporary) registrationCurrent official (or temporary) registrationCurrent official (or temporary) registration
State/locally-accepted vehicle insuranceState/locally-accepted vehicle insuranceState/locally-accepted vehicle insurance
No commercial branding  

Legislative Regulations (according to the Public Vehicle-for-hire Innovation Act)

For a time, both Lyft and Uber were deemed illegal by the state of Pennsylvania and asked to pay fines as reparations. In an ongoing fight to remedy this, Uber and Lyft operate under a two-year experimental license agreement granted by the Public Utility Commission. For current legislation (from PIT rules in the above Innovation Act):

Disclaimer – this is not a comprehensive list of rules and regulations, but is an aggregate created for simplicity and is subject to change in the upcoming years.

  • Privately owned vehicles may be used for public transportation, so long as the drivers are notified electronically or through an app.
  • Along the same lines, rideshare drivers may not pick up passengers that hail them from the street.
  • Rideshare drivers with companies such as Uber and Lyft may not solicit fares at taxi stands specified for Pittsburgh taxi services.
  • If there is suspicion of illegal street hailing, the rideshare operator must provide law enforcement with access to their electronic trip records.
  • Background checks and minimal levels of insurance are required for all drivers before they begin driving for the TNC (transportation network company).
  • Companies must provide passengers with photographic access of the vehicle driver and the vehicle license plate before pickup.
  • Drivers must successfully pass a criminal background check, sex offender database check, and driver history check.
  • App-based services must provide primary insurance coverage of minimum $50,000 per person per accident, with up to $100,000 available to all and $25,000 available for property damage
  • A private rideshare vehicle operator may affiliate with more than one rideshare service (unless specified by the company)

PIT (Pittsburgh International Airport) Regulations

As a rideshare driver in Pittsburgh, you’re likely going to make a few trips to and from the airport (unless you specifically choose to avoid these rides). So that you don’t make any mistakes or jeopardize the integrity of the ride, here’s a combined set of rules described by both Uber and Lyft:

  • All ride pickups happen at the specified “Uber Loading Zone.” Without halting or disrupting any traffic, head toward Door 4 of the commercial curb to the designated area. Be courteous and pull up to the furthest available space to allow other drivers the opportunity for easy access to a space.
  • To wait for a ride, you must do so in the designated Cell Phone Lot staging area. If the lot is full, then you can’t wait around and need to leave the property. Note also that parking is only free for an hour, so adjust your driver schedule accordingly.
  • Drivers are required to display the TNC trade dress on the passenger side of your windshield
  • Rider cancellations do not affect your place in line through Lyft. Driver cancellations, however, take you off of the queue and back to the end of the line. The Same rule applies for leaving the airport property, missing a passenger request, or going offline on the app.
  • The queue works on a first come first served basis. The driver who has been in line the longest is also the one who will be given the next available ride.
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