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Recent Comments

Re: “Here's What Needs to Happen Before You Uber

On the insurance point, the insurance requirements for TNCs are higher than for Taxis in period 2 and 3, but lower in period 1. This kind of makes sense since TNCs don't do street hails. They aren't actually working during period 1, but are "available" and not "en route". They are most of the time parked or in some cases driving to another location of higher demand.

Dispatch algorithms work to minimize or eliminate period 1 because that's basically wasted time. A parked car isn't making money, parking costs money, and a car driving to a place of higher demand is also potentially wasting energy (if it could have otherwise got there in period 3 rather than periods 1 and 2, with a better dispatch algorithm, then it would have been wasted).

The portion of period 1 where drivers are relocating to a location of higher demand is kind of like "commuting to work", too. A taxi driver that drives a personal car to pick up a leased car (not that they all do this, some might take it home), could be said to be similar to period 1, and the personal, non-commercial insurance levels apply there.

That it's a personal vehicle adds some intricacies. Personally, I think the *personal* (non-commercial) insurance levels are way too low. 25k is nothing. I carry 250k personal coverage, whatever the max is, plus a secondary umbrella policy (which required getting the max on the primaries), so my personal liability coverage is actually in 7 figures, not 5. If we doubled 25k to 50k for every driver on the road, I think that would probably be a vast improvement for everybody. And on the bright side, too, maybe making people actually pay for their social burden with proper levels of insurance might make people opt out of driving themselves and bike or carpool more.

I think Amanda had a great point that being underinsured is a problem, but taking it out on TNCs seems to be only a minor improvement when it's a huge problem with all drivers.

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by sethwoolley on 04/22/2015 at 12:31 PM

Re: “Here's What Needs to Happen Before You Uber

Dirk, I guess I wasn't completely clear and left a few assumptions in, so I'll try again with more specificity. The code (… 16.40.080) and the associated admin rules (linked above) don't require taxis to go through the city for background checks the way both are written. In fact, they are allowed explicitly to "accept" background checks from a third party (in admin rule part B) as part of the application process rather than "perform" a background check (which is acceptable in part A). The code doesn't say that the city will "perform" the checks but merely sets a standard. So the idea that the city doesn't trust taxis but will trust TNCs is not exactly spot on. The city will trust both to do it and did trust taxis in the past to do it, and so we were told, the city actually encourages the use of third party background checks, so they don't have to, as their checks are more limited and not as good. That was why I thought it was relevant to your point. Hope that clarifies things!

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by sethwoolley on 04/22/2015 at 12:14 PM

Re: “Here's What Needs to Happen Before You Uber

Hi Dirk, a factual correction on your background check point (it's easy to get wrong because the public testimony from the general public was apparently confused on this):

According to Administrative rule PFH 16.40.080-01(B) for Taxis the administrator of the PFH may accept a criminal background report from another source than the LEDS system normally used. In staff testimony at the council meeting last night PBOT staff said they encouraged this because they are actually more extensive than LEDS and capture national data, not just Oregon data.… has the administrative rule. The public testimony you should be able to confirm yourself as you're a reporter.

I was there last night, but I didn't testify (FD: I'm a software engineer in mapping for Uber).

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by sethwoolley on 04/22/2015 at 11:30 AM

Re: “New Governor! Kate Brown Tells Oregonians She'll Be More Rigorous than John Kitzhaber

Is she going to return that check from Comcast now? It's "any source" and it's a form of compensation for writing a letter lobbying for their interests.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by sethwoolley on 02/18/2015 at 2:31 PM

Re: “Portland Police Detain Mercury's News Editor While Breaking Up Lengthy Ferguson Protest

Thank you and Cameron for documenting that night to ensure police spin of the events is held accountable.

54 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by sethwoolley on 11/30/2014 at 10:06 AM

Re: “$15 Soon? Multnomah County is About to Hop Aboard the Wage Wagon

No way to value workers in a private market so public employees have no value even if they clearly do provide utility and the body could always privatize? If I remember correctly, I voted for my taxes and representatives that set tax rates. America isn't about represented taxes anymore but some sophomoric Ayn Rand discipleship?

4 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by sethwoolley on 11/06/2014 at 2:08 PM

Re: “It's the Mercury's Endorsement Guide!

Despite being opposed to top two measure 90, you're only talking about the top two candidates in the major races. Really? Neither of the two candidates you supported are going to lose. You could throw a bone to a few progressives.

And where are you on the entire rest of the ballot? No comments on eye patch dude?

11 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by sethwoolley on 10/21/2014 at 5:35 PM

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