22 Dec

Portland uber Uber, but we all still need a ride

No company selling transportation, including Uber, should be breaking local laws. The appeal of riding with outlaws pretty much went away with Billy the Kid.

But if you find yourself in downtown Portland of a Saturday night, too impaired to drive home – not that I’m speaking from personal experience – and try to call a cab, you’ll probably be waiting long enough to sober up and drive yourself home.

That’s the appeal of Uber, in a city short on reliable pick-up-and-deliver you transportation. It’s why Seattle, which also had some legal issues with Uber, found a way to make things work out.

Certainly this shouldn’t be beyond the capacity of the City That Works. There are issues, such as insurance protection and access for disabled riders, that really should and could be resolved.

These are not insignificant issues. There are reasons why, last week, the district attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco filed suit against Uber. Cities and states are entitled to be concerned about the safety and security of their citizens.

But this should be fixable. We really want to avoid a situation with movie-style police car chases of suspected Uber drivers.

Maybe, as part of the deal, we could get Uber drivers paying part of the street fee.

NOTE: This commentary appeared on KGW-TV, 12/20/14.

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