1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204
In January 2015, I convened a 12-member community Task Force to provide guidance and recommendations about how the City of Portland’s Private For Hire Transportation (PFHT) regulatory program should evolve and respond to new developments in the industry, including the entry of transportation network companies (TNCs). It is critical that the City provide necessary safeguards and standards to protect consumers, ensure accessibility for all, and allow for a fair, competitive market for drivers and companies across all sectors of the PFHT industry.
Following a presentation of regulatory recommendations from the Task Force and a great deal of public input, Council approved the PFHT Innovation Pilot Program with revised regulations for taxi companies and new rules that allow for TNCs. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is managing and overseeing the Pilot Program, which began in April and will conclude in August.
The following is a status report on the Pilot, which includes trip pattern data from the first full month. Data collection is a critical component of the Pilot. The PFHT program is working with our partners to collect data in an effort to develop a more detailed understanding of the traffic implications, commute patterns and location of private for hire transportation trips, including wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) trips. The program also collects data to ensure compliance by taxi and TNC operators. Data points collected include trip date, time, origin and destination, wait time for vehicle, duration of the trip, WAV requests and unfulfilled or cancelled/no-show rides.
Additionally, this report includes an overview of transportation options in Portland for people with disabilities, which have historically been limited and challenging to access. These challenges are widely known and experienced in the disability community—in Portland and throughout the U.S.—and have also been highlighted as we evaluate PFHT service and regulations. Coupled with the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was passed by Congress in July 1990, I am hopeful additional attention to transportation accessibility will result in much needed improvements to transportation service options for people with disabilities.
Lastly, I want to thank members of the PFHT Innovation Task Force who have met since January and continue to give thoughtful and creative consideration to PFHT service and regulations in the City of Portland. The Portland Bureau of Transportation will provide regular status updates to the Task Force, which continues to review regulations and monitor Portland’s dynamic PFHT market.
Commissioner Steve Novick
City of Portland, Oregon