Portland Should Be Fair to Taxis by Setting Them Free

CascadeNewLogoBy Everet Rummel

This issue affects almost all city-dwellers, and cities around the world are taking action. Some view it as their own livelihoods being at stake. It has even sparkedmass protests in Europe. The issue? Whether or not cities should allow Uber, and other GPS-based ridesharing services, to operate within their jurisdictions.

Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft connect commuters with certified drivers willing to offer rides for a fare. The idea sounds innocent enough, but Portland and other cities strictly limit the number of taxis and for-profit drivers who are allowed to operate, how small each cab company can be, and how much or little they can charge.

Across the U.S., governments have rushed to regulate ridesharing and sometimes ban it altogether. California has warned ridesharing companies to stay clear of the airports. Virginia and Austin, Texas have banned them completely.

The European protesters claim it isn’t fair that ridesharing services can operate unregulated, while taxis are heavily regulated; the playing field isn’t level. And they’re right. But rather than cooking up expensive regulations and restricting taxis and ride-sharers in cities, which hurts customers, let’s make taxi and ridesharing drivers free to operate and earn a living. Let’s deregulate so more drivers are on the road and more customers are getting rides. As Portland andother cities consider allowing Uber to operate legally, we should keep these points in mind.

Everet Rummel is a research associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Portland, Transportation | Tagged , , , , , , | 34 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    Government largely creates a very artificial monopoly with taxi regulation. It helps create higher compensation for those who gain entry as taxi cab drivers, but others are left out while consumers are shut out of an otherwise very inexpensive door-to-door service. I expect the total cost of getting from downtown Portland to the Portland airport would drop from $40 one way to $20 or less if it were not for the artificial taxicab monopoly.

    There is one benefit to this monopoly in that the reliability of the drive is better than totally unregulated taxi service. However, there is no doubt a way to allow car share drivers to get accreditation. Branding also will help take care of a lot of this need.

    With robotic, driverless cars on the horizon; it may be a particularly good time to transition away from the artificial taxi cab monopoly structure forced by government. Maybe a transition stipend for existing taxicab drivers to ease the transition to an efficient market solution would be an equitable solution.

    • Oregon engineer

      There is one benefit to this monopoly in that the reliability of the drive is better than totally unregulated taxi service.
      not necessarily. Uber wants immediate feedback about the ride experience. Keeping this available to all potential riders and immediately visible to the drivers will keep the drivers and service reliable and of high quality. so i disagree with your premise of driver reliability is better because of the monopoly. the competion alone is enough to do that.

  • Go to http://www.lyftvsuber.com/ to try out Uber or Lyft for yourself! The website compares the two most popular ride-sharing services. $30 of FREE ride credit for new passengers and $500 sign-up BONUS for new drivers!! Drivers can make as much as $40/hr! Hope you can see what all the hype is about 🙂 Thanks!!

    • Everet Rummel

      Thanks so much.

  • OldRick

    “Regulating” the taxi services is mainly a way for the taxi companies to maintain their monopoly. Let Uber disrupt the monopoly and we’ll all be better off.

    • Roger Enout

      Slogan revamped: “Portland: The City That Lurks”…
      needing jerks like their Milquetoast habitues’ to support ’em.

  • Paul in Portland

    Take a taxi in Portland vs root canal? Toss up

  • Maximus Prime

    It seems that Creative Destruction has hit Oregon

  • Sally

    I NEVER take a cab anywhere. I use Uber or call for a town car or walk or ride my bike. Cabs are a waste. Totally.

    • Donna BuyFiat

      Sally, ‘weather’ under or over monsignor platitude Lars’ accommodations, t’wit her *hit parade or parody remains a CONscriptured tuber left fling incoherent habitation dinkly rooted in mudder Earth’s lower ally’s HoleHogFartz insemination.

      Demidod that, left flinger nose dartz! Ha!

    • .

      Ilk your website, toots upperer?

  • Jack Lord God

    The whole argument is BS and has zero to do with rider safety – its about protecting income from licensing fees, as well as taxi and limousine commissions protecting their monopoly.

    How do we know? Because most of these places also crack down on apps that network users to share licensed cab rides. An issue which completely eliminates this sham safety concern since you are dealing with a licensed cab, just cutting the cost.

    Yet another example of government working against the citizens to protect their income stream and nothing more.

  • You can sign up now with promo code UBERMEPLEASE and get $30 off your first UBER ride!
    http://uber.com/invite/ubermeplease

    • .

      Let the next dalliance become a matter of record and the enter foreign positions after they’ve complied with ‘lawful’ designations.

      Meanswhile, do not suport city counicilateras, cohabitaing with $alivatory income taxi-ing interests getting $toned along entune with Harrypin Chapin-Driver.

  • For me the way has altered. I take advantage of it to really get to school and work. I understand since they are messing together with the present status quo, not everyone enjoys these new ridesharing programs. Still, it can help many individuals who have trouble getting access to reliable public transport and can’t afford the high costs of taxi cab firms. I got my beginning with all the Lyft program from this site: http://lyftgyft.com/best-free-ride-code there’s a marketplace for Lyft and Uber but merely need to learn how it works in laws and the transport business as a whole.

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