• Mark Markovich

When ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft rolled (legally) into town in late April, much was made about a pioneering feature of the deal Portland's city council struck with the companies: the city would have access to certain aspects of the companies' data. It appeared to be the first time Uber had agreed to share its sacrosanct facts and figures with anyone.

We were curious: What's that agreement look like? How's this gonna work?

The Mercury asked the Portland Bureau of Transportation for copies of the agreements in a formal records request April 24... and finally got them on Tuesday.

Here's the agreement [pdf] the city has with Lyft (first page is blank). Here's the agreement [pdf] the city has with Uber subsidiary, Rasier LLC.

What do they say? That Uber and Lyft are sharing a bunch of possibly interesting information—and that you'll probably never be able to look at it. In fact, the agreements spend far longer enumerating how the city can't share the data than they do detailing what data's to be shared.

They're also rife with a spirit of faux-sounding goodwill, laying out how this agreement will "help improve traffic planning, congestion reduction, pedestrian safety, passenger safety, movement of residents across the City, emergency disaster planning, and beneficially contribute to other activities related to City transportation."

Anyway, each month for about the next three, Uber and Lyft are sharing with city hall:

•which ZIP code rides originate in (if they start within the city), and which ZIP code rides end in (if they end within the city)

•date and approximate time of each trip, along with the duration of each trip

•length of time people wait for a ride after requesting it

•length of time people wait for a wheelchair-accessible ride after requesting it (anecdotal evidence suggests it's a while), along with the total number of requests for wheelchair vehicles that are referred to another service.

•number and percentage of unfulfilled ride requests

•data on collisions, crimes against drivers, and passenger complaints

It's undoubtedly interesting data—particularly to the city's cabbies—and both Uber and Lyft were due to turn in their first report on May 15, at latest. Don't count on learning what it says unless the companies are feeling charitable (highly doubtful).