Eugene asks judge to order Uber to comply with city rules

EUGENE, Ore. - The City of Eugene has asked a judge to require Uber to stop providing rides for hire until it meets the city's safety requirements.

The City is also asking the court to declare that the City's public passenger vehicle licensure requirements apply to Uber.

Uber has maintained that the City's rules for taxi cabs don't apply to its ride-sharing model.

The City disagreed and started fining Uber last fall. As of Thursday, the outstanding fines totaled $146,000.

Uber has appealed these penalties. A hearing has been scheduled for March 24.

"Mayor Kitty Piercy and the Eugene City Council made a decision to ignore the wishes of the thousands of riders and drivers who already rely on Uber for a safe reliable ride and put in jeopardy the livelihood of hundreds of small business owners. While jurisdictions across the country, including neighbors like Vancouver and Portland, work to craft regulations that ensure public safety and embrace ridesharing, Eugene city leaders decided to hide behind bureaucratic red tape," said Brooke Steger, Uber General Manager for the Pacific Northwest.

The motion this week seeks an injunction for relief that would require the Uber to stop providing rides for hire until it meets the City's requirements:

  • Driver criminal background checks run by the police department through a law enforcement database. These checks allow the police, rather than Uber, to review a potential driver's criminal history and driving record and determine, based on certain criteria, if a driver is safe to provide rides to the public.
  • Proof of at least a $1.3 million commercial auto insurance policy that covers all Uber drivers when the driver is logged in and shown as available. The Oregon's Insurance Division issued an advisory last year warning drivers that their personal insurance policies will not provide coverage when driving for a Transportation Network Company (TNC) like Uber.
  • Proof of vehicle mechanical inspections and City verification of minimum safety features such as accessible fire extinguishers and seatbelts.

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