Uber is not "ride share", it's deregulation, plain and simple. Look past the hype. Nobody's sharing rides, it's just a get-rich-quick job scheme sold to the working class under the same false promises as anything else that sounds too good to be true. "Be your own boss!" etc. Might as well use your private vehicle to deliver pizzas-- at least you'll earn minimum wage.

So we finally learn that Portland's liberal, progressive image is only skin-deep. Cue the chorus of Cali ex-pats singing Uber's praises: "Dude I took Uber all the time in SF, and it was siiiick! Like press a button on my iPhone and dude rolls up in a Benz!" and so on. Who cares about Portland businesses? Who cares about self determination for our local government? Uber has shiny things, and that's as far as you've pondered it. Give us vanity / convenience and we'll gladly drink the Flavor Aid and whatever poison a $40-billion-valuation startup wants us to drink. Bottoms up, you stupid fucks.
I still have a hard time figuring out the notion that cab drivers should be some sort of protected class with their jobs shielded from becoming obsolete through technology.
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).
Seth: Thanks. I'll look into this, but my understanding is that the city currently does the background checks for cab drivers, which is really my only point.
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!
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.
Uber has been wildly successful and well received by the customers who actually use the service (as opposed to city officials and the protected monopolies they create) in major left leaning cities like Los Angeles and New York. I'm pretty sure Portland can manage.
Uber can afford the lawyers it needs to wiggle out of practically anything, so why should they require insurance at all? They're not even a transportation company, you see. They exist solely to "make the world a better place" or some shit. Promise big, litigate your way out of trouble and leave scorched earth for its employees, customers and their communities.

Honk honk! Make way for Bay Area brogrammer privilege!
Please ask yourself this, when it is New Years Eve 2017 and all the taxis have been wiped out of existence in Portland, and your surge priced ride home from the Tube or whatever, is now $50 instead of the $10 it normally is every other day of the year, who will you turn to?
Stupid ignorant sheep.
"when it is New Years Eve 2017 and all the taxis have been wiped out of existence in Portland, and your surge priced ride home from the Tube or whatever, is now $50 instead of the $10 it normally is every other day of the year, who will you turn to? "

Ha! As if you could get a Portland taxi on NYE. That's the whole point.

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