July 15th, 2013
Now granted, Portland is uber hip… but are we hip enough for Uber?
Word around the campfire is that Uber—your on demand driver service and taxi alternative—has set its sights on Portland as one of its next cities. But it seems that some laws around taxi service are preventing it from taking the plunge.
[T]he Rose City should be a no-brainer for Uber, a technology company that connects millions of citizens in 35 cities around the world with tens of thousands of licensed transportation providers. But there’s a reason our smartphone app is in almost every major U.S. city EXCEPT for Portland. Despite your passionate pleas for us to come here, outdated local regulations designed to protect the taxi industry make our presence impossible.
One such provision of Portland City Code that impedes quick, comfortable transportation is a 60-minute advanced reservation requirement for a non-taxi ride. That means if you request a towncar now and it arrives in 10 minutes, you must wait an additional 50 minutes before you are legally allowed to enter the vehicle! We don’t think that makes sense. Do you?
That’s why today, we’ll begin meeting with Portland business and community leaders as well as individual residents to explain how consumers benefit from more choices for safe, convenient, and reliable transportation and how our software has helped transportation providers and their drivers increase their earning potential. We’re here all week and we’d love to share a Full Sail ale or Stumptown coffee with you.
Changing laws is one thing. But truly integrating into a small community like Portland is another. Twitter lit up with a few other ideas that might get the community more engaged on the whole Uber debate.