AFTER ALMOST a year of acrimonious debate, Portland's getting ready to finalize sweeping code changes that'll formally pave the way for services like Uber and Lyft to operate in the city going forward.
The new rules, unveiled on Thursday, October 29, include many provisions Portland cabbies and transportation network company (TNC) drivers have operated under for much of the year, during a "pilot project."
But they also include new fees—at least 40 cents a ride—to be paid by customers, that will help subsidize rides for wheelchair-bound passengers, and will pay for city workers who'll enforce the new rules. The Transportation Fairness Alliance, which represents most of Portland's cab companies, says the charges amount to a new tax, similar to the failed street fee proposal.
Have input? Portland City Council will take up the rules for the first time on Thursday, November 5, at 3 pm at Portland City Hall. DIRK VANDERHART
IN THE WEEK since Mayor Charlie Hales announced he'll depart office after this term, the vacuum left in next year's mayor's race remained fairly stout. While politicos and local government officials have largely either said they won't run or stayed mum, just three people have officially filed for candidacy in the race.
Two of them, Lew Humble and Steven Entwisle, have run for the seat before, and don't plan on mounting a campaign that involves spending more than $750. But a third, Assistant Attorney General David Schor, thinks he can give State Treasurer Ted Wheeler a fight.
Schor's a 36-year-old attorney who plays bass in a rock band, and says that he's more in tune with Portlanders' values than Wheeler, who comes from a rich timber family.
"I feel that Portland needs another option," Schor says. Among the issues he plans to discuss: housing affordability and environmental stewardship. DVH
TRIMET'S INVESTIGATING its own policies after a Halloween deluge left more than a dozen trains waterlogged and needing inspection.
Videos emerged in the days after the rainstorm of MAX and Portland Streetcar operators plowing the trains through deep reservoirs of standing water, along with a video of MAX passengers dodging deep water sloshing around in one train.
"We are conducting an internal investigation to determine if appropriate protocols were followed, and/or if the protocols need to be changed given this incident," TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane said in a release. DVH