July 15th, 2013

Now granted, Portland is uber hip… but are we hip enough for Uber?


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 Despite your passionate pleas for us to come here, outdated local regulations designed to protect the taxi industry make our presence impossible.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.


For more, read Uber’s post on wanting to come to Portland, try to catch up with them while they’re visiting town as @Uber_PDX, or add to the conversation by using the hashtag #WeWantUberPDX.

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8 Responses to “Now granted, Portland is uber hip… but are we hip enough for Uber?”

  1. Chase says:

    This is something I’ve wanted to hear for quite a while. I obviously have my own agenda, and I’ll admit it. A side business of mine is Tesla Trips (TeslaTrips.com). We specialize in high end luxury tours with a fleet of Model S Tesla sedans.

    We are currently expanding (and soon, pending City of Portland approval) into executive sedan, and PDX shuttle runs using our cars. I had tried to contact Uber a few months ago about partnering up, but they were holding off from entering PDX. This is something I know most of the traditional companies will not easily get in line with. I do hope that everyone can come together on this. This will only give the people of Portland more options and create a more fair ecosystem. I know all of us at Tesla Trips are excited for the opportunity to get on board with Uber!

  2. Cory says:

    Ok, so I’m torn on this.

    First I loved Uber, I’ve used them in 4 cities in two countries. A great experience all around. Until recently.

    Both in Seattle and San Francisco I’ve been refused rides for having a Guide Dog (5 weeks apart). This is super-not-ok, and super-not-legal for a car service.

    So, while I’d love them to come to PDX, I’m not sure if they are ready yet.

  3. Nick James says:

    I’m hip enough for Uber, bring it on.

  4. Rick Turoczy says:

    Yes you are, Nick James. Yes you are.

  5. sabes says:

    Radio Cab!

  6. A while ago I looked into the feasibility of creating a kiddie cab service, modeled after the one in SF, to get kids from point A to point B. The taxi regs are scary. Uber’s model doesn’t fit, and not just because of their example regulation (although that’s indicative of what they’re facing – tons of tiny little changes, and a couple of really big ones, to accommodate the service).

    That said, I wish them the best.

  7. [...] you may have heard, Uber—the on-demand personal driver service—has high hopes for being a transportation option here in Portland. But there are a few odd regulations holding them back. They’d love to chat with you about it [...]

  8. [...] you may have heard, Uber—the on-demand personal driver service—has high hopes for being a transportation option here in Portland. But there are a few odd regulations holding them back. They’d love to chat with you about it if [...]


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