Uber drives out of Portland (for now)
Uber will halt its operations in Portland, Oregon for three months while the city updates its regulations for private car services.
Uber launched illegally two weeks ago in the west coast city despite objections by Portland officials. Soon after it zipped into the market, the startup was served a cease and desist order by the city.
Portland has since struck a deal with Uber that the ridesharing app would suspend its operations through April 9th while the city amends its transportation regulations. As part of the deal, Uber is allowed to take back to the streets after that deadline even if no updated regulations are passed.
“While we continue to have these discussions, Uber will be pausing pick-ups within Portland city limits beginning the evening of December 21st so we can focus a concerted effort to give Portlanders what they deserve — a safe, reliable option when it comes to transportations,” the company said in a blog post.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales announced a new local task force that will update the city’s private for-hire transportation system. This includes taxi cabs, transportation network companies (like Uber), limousines, pedicabs and shuttle services. The task force, which starts work on Jan. 14, will be tasked with ensuring regulations address mandated safety criteria and creating “a modern private for hire transportation system for Portland,” according to a press release.
“Uber is dedicated to curating and continuing a valuable and constructive relationship with Portland’s lawmakers, working to create a regulatory framework that works for everyone, not just us. Not just the taxi cabs. Not just the city officials. Everyone,” the company said in a statement.
The agreement was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.