City of Eugene considers new regulations that could allow Uber to return
EUGENE, Ore. - The City of Eugene is considering a proposal that would allow companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in Eugene and Springfield.
In April, 2015, Uber pulled its services out of Eugene after the city charged the company thousands of dollars in fines for violating city code.
The company needed a public passenger vehicle company license to legally operate within city limits. After Uber faced a civil penalty of $1,500 a day, the ride service decided to leave.
The proposed rules would still require a license to provide the service, but they would simplify insurance requirements, allow personal cars to provide rides, and keep the companies separate from taxi cabs.
Patrons can hail taxis on the street, but ride share companies like Uber and Lyft must use an app.
"I think it's a great opportunity. I also think it's important that, you know, we're maintaining what we think's important in our community and we hope Uber will be willing to join us in that effort," said Laura Hammond.
Under the proposal, cars do not need matching colors, posted rates outside the vehicle, or top lights.
The proposal is based on input from local taxi companies and transportation network representatives.
Hammond said they collected feedback on the first draft of the rules in November. She said they included input from Uber and she expects the community will want the services to return.
"I think mostly we want to make sure people feel like we've covered the important aspects of all of these rules," Hammond said.
Many people nationwide say they're concerned about the company's background checks after a driver in Kalamazoo, Michigan killed six people during a shooting spree in February.
The proposal would require the companies in Eugene to undergo car safety inspections once a year and show proof of driver certification. The background checks will be done through the Eugene Police Department.
"I mean we're pretty excited. We're hopeful that this provides an opportunity for Uber and Lyft to come and function in our community. And we look forward to working with them," Hammond said.
The city manager will decided on the proposal by the end of April.
The city will accept and review public comment March 13 through March 28.
Comments on the proposed rules can be submitted to PPV@ci.eugene.or.us or mailed to:
Public Passenger Vehicle Program
Building & Permit Services Division
99 West 10th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401