A Two-Front War

Uber's Portland Invasion Comes Just Before City's Scheduled Duel with Airbnb

Comments

1
I guess I have a problem when a company comes into our city and demands that the city council drop whatever it is doing and address the company's needs. Flip Uber- they have no right to boss my elected officials around- that's MY job. Why should they set the agenda?

As for AirBnBedbug- they also have no right to rewrite my city's housing rules. That is for Portland voters to decide...

I don't understand how you can criticize the Koch Brothers for their influence and then turn around and support Uber...
2
Uber shrugged.
3
The taxi industry in Portland is certainly not dominated by unions. In point of fact all the cab drivers are self-employed contract labor.
4
The taxi industry, who you ignorantly characterize as union dominated (your subtext here, obviously, is mobbed up) is at a huge and completely unfair competitive disadvantage against Uber. The only fair way for them to compete, under current circumstances, would be to deregulate the industry and free up the cabs from unfunded mandates and City fees. Let them run as many or as few cars as they want, use their own personal insurance, charge a sliding scale, ignore the riders who are not profitable or inconveniently in a wheelchair, or are simply a pain in the ass (Uber drivers get to rate their riders, so don't get on their bad side if you want continued service).

Of course that's not likely to happen, and with good reason. Many public services, like police, fire, and public transportation call for regulation, to insure public safety. Taxi service is an integral part of any public transportation system.

Everywhere that they have tried deregulating the taxi system it has proven disastrous. Seattle is a prime example. When they deregulated several years ago taxi users lost service in every part of town except for downtown. Cabs were charging wildly varying prices, there were hundreds of "cab companies" consisting of 1 car who's only viable business plan was to troll hotels for airport runs. Cars were barely maintained making them unsafe, nobody had any reassurance that they weren't getting into a car with a criminal maniac or rapist. Within a year downtown hotels were forced to initiate their own inspection programs to screen out the worst of them. Deregulating taxis would be like deregulating the bus system. How do you think that would go here?

Uber denies service to low income and elderly who aren't tech savvy or can't get credit cards. They don't provide service for disabled riders. The generally operate without commercial insurance, which is about 6 times the cost of private insurance. The first thing that happens when they get in a wreck is that their insurance cancels them and denies the claim. Those injured, and there have been many, can only sue the driver, due to Uber's draconian 30 page Terms of Service - which nobody bothers to read.

Meantime, the cities continue to impose unfunded mandates on the taxi industry, albeit in order to keep the public safe. Here in Portland they've had to install camera systems, back seat credit card processing, wheelchair lift vans (that must operate at set rates, making it necessary for the companies to subsidize the cost), criminal background checks, knowledge testing, annual driver safety training, bi-annual vehicle inspections by certified mechanics. Every year each cab driver/owner pays the city for their drivers permit - $150, vehicle permit - $600, vehicle inspection - $150, city business licenses - $150 to $400 depending on income. Uber operates without any of these financial burdens or mandates. Uber has no accountability. Who you going to call and complain to?

The only way Uber has succeeded anywhere has been to game the system.
5
@rev bit me; but the people are not voting on anything- its all between politicians and airbnb. typical choice between to 'greater goods'.
6
Fuck you Mayor Hales your a dumb ass....just got to throw that in there.