Uber, Lyft permanently approved in Portland

Amanda Fritz slammed the council for its decision in a speech Wednesday.

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Uber and Lyft are no longer operating in Portland on a temporary basis as the city council voted Wednesday to permanently allow ridesharing companies.

The regulations were passed in a 3-2 vote.

Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Steve Novick — who oversees the city’s transportation bureau, which drafted the rules — and Commissioner Dan Saltzman voted for the rules. Commissioner Nick Fish joined [Amanda] Fritz in voting against the rules.

“I think there’s been an effort to level the playing field as much as possible between (ride-hailing companies) and taxi companies, and I think that’s a good direction to go in,” Saltzman said. “I look at this as a new reality.”

The city’s proposed rules have come under additional scrutiny because of ties between an Uber lobbyist and the politicians who have pushed the new rules and voted for approval on Wednesday.

(READ MORE: OregonLive.com)

Amanda Fritz slammed the council for its decision in a speech Willamette Week published in its entirety here.

I never thought I would see the day that Portland City Council would operate like the Republican-dominated Congress in Washington, D.C.  Congress is known for allowing industry to write its own regulations, rather than legislators acting on behalf of their constituents in the public interest. Sadly, that day has arrived here in Portland today, with these regulations being adopted on behalf of the Transportation Network Companies or TNCs, principally Uber and Lyft. I am greatly troubled by the fact that common-sense regulations were not accepted by the Council majority, simply because Uber and Lyft wouldn’t approve.

This has been a long public process. It has not been a good public process. None of the workers most affected by this ordinance had a seat at the table of the community Task Force. TNC lobbyists had multiple private meetings with the primary council members supporting this ordinance. Taxi representatives did not. As a consequence of the process, the final ordinance does not represent a balanced approach. And as a result of that lack of balance, it does not act on behalf of the long term public good of Portlanders.

(READ MORE: Willamette Week)

 Lyft lauded the move.

“The city’s pilot program demonstrated that consumers benefit from Lyft and the Council’s approval guarantees Portland residents and visitors a safe, affordable way to get around the Rose City,” said Lyft spokeswoman Chelsea Wilson.

(READ MORE: Portland Business Journal)

RELATED NEWS: Uber clears another hurdle in Portland city governmentTaxi!

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