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City of Portland sues Uber for operating illegal, unregulated transportation service

The City of Portland has filed suit against Uber Technologies Inc. in Multnomah County Circuit Court, after documenting that the California-based company started operating private-for hire transportation services in the city.

Link to this release: http://bit.ly/1w8OKkF

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Dylan Rivera

503-823-3723

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Twitter: @PBOTinfo

News Release:

City of Portland sues Uber for operating illegal,
unregulated transportation service

(Dec. 8, 2014) The City of Portland has filed suit against Uber Technologies Inc. in Multnomah County Circuit Court, after documenting that the California-based company started operating private-for hire transportation services in the city.

The lawsuit seeks declaratory relief that Uber is subject to and in violation of the City of Portland’s Private for Hire Transportation Regulations and Administrative Rules. The City’s lawsuit is asking for a declaration by the court that Uber is subject to the City’s regulations. The lawsuit also asks the Court to order Uber to stop operating in Portland until it is in compliance with the City’s safety, health and consumer protection rules.

Transportation Director Leah Treat on Monday morning issued a Cease and Desist Order to Uber. The order was cited in the lawsuit.

“I am hereby directing that Uber Technologies Inc…. or any other Uber affiliate entity immediately cease and desist operating within the City of Portland until such time as appropriate permits are obtained and Uber is in full compliance with the requirements of Portland City Code Chapter 16.40,” Treat wrote. “Please alert all Uber-affiliated drivers that they are to cease and desist.”

“Our main concern is public health and safety, because the state invested in the cities the responsibility to do that,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Beyond that, though, is the issue of fairness. 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.”

City Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees PBOT, said the City is prepared to issue civil and criminal penalties against Uber and its drivers for operating without required permits and inspections. The City of Portland requires permits for drivers and companies that offer taxi or executive sedan service within the city limits.

“If Uber thinks there should be no maximum price on what they charge Portlanders, they should make their case to the Portland City Council,” Novick said. “If Uber thinks taxi companies shouldn’t have to serve people with disabilities, they should make their case. If Uber thinks taxis should not have to have proper insurance in case of a crash, they should tell us why we should allow that.”

Uber drivers accepted and then later cancelled two rides requested by Portland Bureau of Transportation enforcement officials on Friday night. Uber drivers provided three rides to City enforcement officials on Saturday night. Uber has widely publicized that it was operating in Portland over the weekend.

The Transportation Bureau issued two civil penalties to Uber on Monday, one for operating without a company permit and another for operating without a vehicle permit.

As the City documents Uber’s unpermitted operations in Portland, the Bureau will issue warnings to Uber drivers and penalties to the company. Drivers found to be repeatedly operating without a permit may be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

An attorney representing the City of Portland also issued a Cease and Desist Order Monday to Uber for unauthorized use of the image of the historic “Portland, Oregon” sign in Old Town in its advertising. The sign’s image is a trademark registered with the State of Oregon. If Uber does not cease all commercial use of the sign by 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, the City is prepared to seek a court order, damages and attorney’s fees.

The Transportation Bureau encourages the public to report illegal taxi operations, and complaints about any private for hire transportation provider to 503-865-2486 or by email to regulatory@portlandoregon.gov

Background on Private for Hire Transportation in Portland

Portland and Vancouver, Wash. are the only cities in the metropolitan area that regulate taxi companies. Uber recently started operating in Vancouver without permits and in other area cities that do not regulate taxis.

Since the City Council moved taxi regulation from the Revenue Bureau to PBOT, effective July 1, Commissioner Novick and transportation officials started a top-to-bottom review intended to update the City’s taxi and executive sedan regulations.

Commissioner Novick is convening a task force to reexamine existing taxi regulations and see if those regulations should be restructured while protecting consumers and drivers.

It is illegal for motorists to pick up passengers for a fee in the Portland city limits without proper permits. Taxis that pick up passengers outside of Portland may drop off those passengers in Portland without a permit.

Anyone in Portland can use the smartphone app Curb to call taxis from Broadway and Radio Cab, which are two of the largest permitted taxi companies in the city.

The three most common violations of City Code that city enforcement officers find, and which Uber and its drivers may be in violation of, are:

 

Code Section

Requirement

1st Offense

2nd Offense

Subsequent Offenses

16.40.090 A.

LPT and Taxi Driver Permit

$1,000

$2,500

$5,000

16.40.150 A.

Taxi Company Permit

$1,500

$2,500

$5,000

16.40.190 B.

Taxiplate

$1,250

$2,500

$5,000

Full City Code Citation: http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/?c=28593#cid_408153

The Limited Passenger Transportation and Taxi Driver Permit requirements ensure the public that drivers have passed annual City-required annual background checks.

The Taxi Company Permit requirement ensures the public that licensed companies have appropriate commercial insurance that will cover passengers in the event of a crash, and that the companies’ drivers have annual City-required background checks and inspected vehicles.

The Taxiplate display requirement calls for posting of a metal plate on the vehicle with an identification number. It helps customers and enforcement officers identify permitted operators.

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Street Seats to host open house December 5; accept 2015 proposals through January 15 - Popular program turns parking spaces into outdoor seating

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Diane Dulken 503-823-5552

diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Twitter @PBOTinfo

Link to news release and photos: http://bit.ly/1FNjKcg

NEWS RELEASE:
Street Seats to host open house December 5;

accept 2015 proposals through January 15

Popular program turns parking spaces into outdoor seating

(December 3, 2014) - While Portlanders weather a cold snap, The Portland Bureau of Transportation is looking ahead to warm weather opportunities to enliven the streetscape by expanding its popular Street Seats program.

The bureau is seeking concept proposals through January 15, 2015, and will host an open house on December 5 at the Portland Building (1120 SW 5th Avenue) from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Staff and local design firms will be available to answer questions and provide design inspiration.

Now in its fourth year, Street Seats gives businesses or non-profit organizations the opportunity to convert on-street parking into other public uses, such as café seating or a mini-park. Based on similar programs in San Francisco and New York City, the program enlivens the streetscape by creating spaces for Portlanders to stop, sit and enjoy the life of the street. Many Street Seats also allow people to enjoy seating and a meal or a drink outdoors, which in turn enhances street vitality and benefits local businesses.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation experimented with a pilot Street Seats project in 2012 and instituted an ongoing program in spring 2013.

Today, Portland has 12 Street Seat installations, 10 of which were organized by restaurants to offer outdoor café seating. Two installations on NE Alberta Street have been designed solely for open public seating and are a result of collaboration between the Bureau of Transportation and Center for Architecture in its second annual Street Seat Design Competition.

While encouraging additional restaurant and café proposals, the Transportation Bureau will prioritize design proposals that are open to full public use, and that show creativity and excellence in design.

Proposals may be seasonal or year-round, and may be located in any part of the city, except the downtown core from West Burnside to SW Harrison Street, and SW Second to Tenth avenues.

Application packets as well as a map of current Street Seats may be found at www.PortlandOregon.gov/Transportation/StreetSeats

View Street Seats photos from Portland and elsewhere at http://www.flickr.com/groups/pdxstreetseats/

Sign up for e-updates at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/470469

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Grant funds available for community projects, pre-applications due February 6

The Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) is accepting pre-applications for stewardship grants. The deadline to submit pre-applications is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 6, 2015. A grant review committee will then invite selected applicants to submit full applications in April.

News Release

November 18, 2014

For immediate release

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328

Grant funds available for community projects, pre-applications due February 6

The Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) is accepting pre-applications for stewardship grants. The deadline to submit pre-applications is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 6, 2015. A grant review committee will then invite selected applicants to submit full applications in April.

CWSP provides stewardship grants of up to $10,000 for projects that help Portlanders make improvements in their neighborhoods and communities, while improving watershed health. Projects funded by CWSP grants include youth leadership and job skills programs; replacing pavement with native plants; adding plants and trees to neighborhoods; and cleaning up and restoring parks, playgrounds and streams.

CWSP has scheduled three grant-writing workshops to answer questions and provide help writing applications:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Avenue

Tuesday January 6, 2014

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Holgate Library, 7905 SE Holgate Boulevard

Saturday January 17, 2014

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

St. Johns Library, 7510 N Charleston Ave

For help developing project ideas and putting together an application, contact CWSP Coordinator Rosa Lehman at rosa.lehman@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-7917 or go to www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/CWSP.

CWSP encourages applications for projects that involve the leadership and meaningful participation of people of color, immigrants, elders, youth, those with disabilities, low-income residents, and other under-represented groups.

CWSP is a partnership between Environmental Services and Portland State University. Since it began in 1995, CWSP has granted more than $1 million for watershed projects and helped organize more than 40,000 volunteers to work on community projects.

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with programs to protect water quality and public health, including wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.

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Linc Mann
Public Information Officer
Environmental Services
1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1000
Portland OR 97204
phone: 503-823-5328
cell: 503-823-8872
fax: 503-823-5228
Linc.Mann@portlandoregon.gov

www.portlandoregon.gov/bes

The Bureau of Environmental Services

works with Portland residents and

businesses to protect water quality,

public health, and the environment

through wastewater collection and

treatment, sewer construction and

maintenance, stormwater management,

and stream and watershed restoration.