Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Uber Forecasts Victory amid Puc Hearing

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Uber Forecasts Victory amid Puc Hearing

Article excerpt

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said in a conference call Tuesday that he expects a "win" in Pittsburgh, even as his company's local attorney was arguing the company should not have to disclose the number of local trips it provided in Pittsburgh over the past few months to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

"We want to show what great transportation looks like, from Pittsburgh to Seoul and all the other cities in between," he said on a conference call with reporters. The San Francisco ride-sharing company is operating in 170 cities, Mr. Kalanick noted. "I think ultimately progress will win. Our experience in cities around the world shows progress is inevitable."

Any progress in Pittsburgh will hinge on the PUC, which held the second day of a hearing Tuesday at the PUC's Pittsburgh office, Downtown, to consider Uber's application to begin permanent experimental service in Allegheny County and other parts of the state.

Uber and its rival Lyft moved into the county earlier this year. While Lyft has won temporary approval to begin experimental service, Uber is still under a cease-and-desist order. The company has said it expects to have its temporary application approved soon, but a PUC spokeswoman said Tuesday the paperwork was still under review.

The day's testimony began with Uber attorney Karen Moury again instructing her witness, former Uber Pittsburgh manager Matthew Gore, not to answer questions about the number of rides taken in the Pittsburgh area while the company was under a cease-and-desist order. Ms. Moury argued that information is proprietary.

This action seems to be in direct conflict with a court order requiring Uber to disclose the information issued by the administrative law judges July 31. Ms. Moury told Judge Jeffrey Watson that the company would be open to providing info about the number of trips under seal for the judges' eyes only.

The information could be relevant, the order states, because one of the things considered in the application process is Uber's conduct and - because PUC Commissioner James Cawley suggested if rides were given illegally - patrons might be eligible for refunds. …

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