Portland prepared to increase number of taxis on roads

City Council considers gutting restrictions on number of vehicles and companies allowed to operate in the city.

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Portlanders might be going from being unable to find a cab to not being able to escape them.

The Portland City Council is considering gutting restrictions on number of vehicles and companies allowed to operate in the city in what appears to be a concession to traditional taxi companies ahead of Uber’s arrival.

The experiment was coined “Taxis Gone Wild” by commissioner Steve Novick, who heads the transportation department.

Willamette Week writes:

As for Uber and Lyft or any other ride-hailing services that want to pick up Portlanders? They get to have an unlimited number of cars on the road too.

These proposed rules—set to be voted on by City Council April 15th—would only apply for the 120-day pilot period, while the city collects the data from all “for-hire” companies. The task force is looking to city staff to hash out the fine print, like who would issue permits—the city or companies—and how to issue permits speedily.

Uber may also have to share its ride data when it launches in Portland, a separate story published by WW indicates.

The draft recommendations—scheduled to be reviewed by City Council on April 15—require both taxis and ride-hailing companies to share the date and time of each ride, pick up and drop off locations, wait times and the duration of trips. 

“We only have anecdotal evidence on how well or how poorly taxi service in Portland has served,” says Dana Haynes, the Mayor’s spokesman. “We thought this would be a good opportunity to see if we could get some actual data so we could make data-driven decisions.”

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