City of Portland Sues Uber

By Gus Edelen O’Brien

Catlin Gabel School, Catlin Speak

The city of Portland has filed a lawsuit against Uber for failing to follow taxi regulations  following its launch on Dec. 5.

Mayor Charlie Hales commented on the lawsuit, “Taxi cab companies follow rules on public health and safety. So do hotels and restaurants and construction companies and scores of other service providers. Because everyone agrees: good regulations make for a safer community. Uber disagrees, so we’re seeking a court injunction.”

Uber is a ridesharing service that arranges rides, and originally Uber only dealt with black luxury cars for hire. In 2012, they created a new program called the UberX program, which allows any qualified driver with a safe car to transport passengers, and make a little money for themselves. The Uber app allows passengers to make the decision between which kind of car they need, insert your location into the map, and track the car that will pick you up.

The fines for the Uber drivers in Portland are high, and if a driver is caught, Uber will be charged $1,500 and the driver will be fined up to $2,250. However, charges can grow up to $5,000 through related laws. Uber has retaliated against the government by asserting that they are not the average taxi company, and therefore should not be forced to follow regulations. They have also said that they want to work with the Portland Government. The city also is also issuing a Cease and Desist Order against Uber for using the famous “Welcome To Portland Oregon” sign in their advertising campaign.

Despite the backlash from the Portland government, Uber seems predisposed to stay, and on Dec. 6 they tweeted: “Morning PDX! How did your first rides go last night? Let us know so we can make tonight even better.”

The ridesharing company has also created a petition to tell Mayor Charlie Hales that the population wants Uber in Portland, and they are more than two thirds there, having reached 6398 of the required 1000 signatures required.

The ridesharing company has also recently been banned in Spain and the Indian capital city New Delhi. Several worldwide protests against Uber have been staged this month.

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

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