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Uber will stop operating in the city for three months



Five days before Portland and Uber were scheduled to face off in federal court, the city and the app-based personal ride company have struck a deal. Uber will stop operating in Portland for three months on Sunday and the city will start a process that could legalize their drivers.

Uber announced it was suspending operations Sunday in federal court. Mayor Charlie Hales followed that by announcing the process for the city to review and update its private for-hire transportation system, including developing a framework that covers such app-based personal ride companies.

Portland had been seeking an injuction from operating in the city because it violates the current rules governing taxis and other for-hire companies. A federal court hearing was scheduled for Dec. 23.

The city has fined Uber around $68,000 so far for violating those rules. Uber has been arguing that could lose over $100,000 if not allowed to operate in Portland. But the agreement postpones the confrontation for now.

Here is the text of the announcement:

Today, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales announced the process for

reviewing and updating Portland’s private for-hire transportation (PFHT) system. The City will convene a task force to move this process forward, and the City is committed to

developing a new regulatory framework that includes innovative transportation network companies (TNCs). City Council will receive task force recommendations to accomplish this by April 9, 2015.

Beginning January 14, the newly formed PFHT Innovation Task Force will meet to study, discuss and make recommendations about all facets of Portland’s private for-hire system, including taxi cabs, transportation network companies, limousines, pedicabs and shuttle services. Mike Greenfield, former director of the Department of Administrative Services for the State of Oregon, will chair the committee.

The process initially will focus on taxi cabs and transportation network companies, with discussion and recommendations on the following areas: whether to continue to limit the total number of permits granted, whether to have a regulated pricing system, mandated criteria (including insurance, inspections and background checks), and accessibility. In addition, the task force will explore how regulatory changes could improve driver

earnings and working conditions.

The task force will address mandated safety criteria and other policy recommendations to City Council at an April 9th Council hearing. The Portland Bureau of Transportation will then be immediately directed to issue permits based on Council’s approval of mandated safety recommendations, allowing TNCs to legally operate. Additionally, Council will direct PBOT to initiate a study period to monitor the market. This will better inform the Task Force and Council as they continue their work on regulations for taxicabs, pedicabs, shuttles and limousines to create a modern private for hire transportation system for

Portland.

Members of the task force are still being selected. Those who have accepted to date include:

Mike Greenfield, retired State of Oregon executive (Chair)

Raihana Ansary, Portland Business Alliance

Leslie Carlson, Brink Communication

Chris Bebo, Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association

Darren Buckner, Workfrom.co

JoAnn Herrigel, Elders in Action

Kayse Jama, Center for Intercultural Organizing

Jeff Lang, Gales Creek Insurance Services

Richard Lazar, Technology Association of Oregon

Dan Lenzen, Venture Hospitality and Real Estate

Sue Stahl, Commission on Disability

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