Portland City Council allows Ride-Sharing Companies to Operate Legally under 4-Month Pilot Program
Portland City Council allows Ride-Sharing Companies to Operate Legally

On Tuesday, Portland City Council permitted ride-sharing companies to operate in the city. Approval has been given for a four-month-long project that includes certain regulations and also requires firms to provide access to disabled riders.

The meeting took place for more than four hours in which the council has voted 3-2 to allow app-based ride services, including Uber and Lyft to operate in Portland. Mayor Charlie Hales is in the favor of the plan and has voted in the favor.

"This is a change that none of us wanted. The cab companies didn't want it. I didn't want it. It's a change that - like a lot of change that is all around us right now - is coming pretty fast", affirmed Hales.

In many cities across the nation, Uber has been facing difficulties. It has been repeatedly keeping the stand that Uber is a not a taxi service and should not be asked to follow the current taxicab regulations. In December, Uber agreed to halt its services until the city comes up with regulations.

At the public hearing, a number of people were present and they even kept their opinion. Some taxicab drivers were angry and affirmed that the regulations were unfair. But supporters of the companies said that they provide the desired service and job opportunities for drivers.

As per the regulations, Uber and Lyft drivers need to have a business license. Secondly, the companies should make sure that there is an access for people with disabilities. The city's Private For-Hire Innovation Task Force will regularly update the council on the program.

During the meeting, Uber General Manager Brooke Steger said that they take safety quite seriously and are committed to follow the regulations under the program.

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