Eugene City Council: Uber has to play by same rules as taxis


The ridesharing company has accrued $116,000 in fines so far.

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BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

On January 20, 2014, Uber’s general manager wrote an open letter to the Eugene City Council requesting consideration. On Monday, the council voted unanimously that the ridesharing company would have to play by the same rules as the taxis already in circulation.

The Register-Guard reported on the council’s vote that also allowed traditional cab companies to use mobile apps to estimate fares:

In a statement, Brooke Steger, Uber’s Northwest manager, said the city’s code change would jeopardize Uber’s operations in Eugene. “The only people to benefit will be those who own the taxi companies,” she said.

The council’s vote “puts the livelihood of hundreds of residents at risk while ignoring the voice of Eugene residents who already rely on Uber to connect them to safe, affordable and reliable rides around their community,” Steger said.

Steger wrote a letter more than a year ago urging the council make a different decision:

There is a proposal that seeks to include transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber in the city’s current definition of vehicle for hire. The proposal is flawed, and if enacted, would jeopardize TNCs service in Eugene. 

The proposal is seeking to fit a new business model into regulations that were designed explicitly for a different type of transportation service. 

Uber is not opposed to regulations. In fact we are making progress working with city representatives towards a solution that would recognize unique aspects of TNCs, create a new framework that embraces this new technology, and allow TNCs to serve residents and visitors of Eugene.

 




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