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Portland Bureau of Transportation

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Press Release: Revenue Bureau Delivers Recommendations Regarding Taxi Industry

Revenue Bureau Delivers Recommendations Regarding Taxi Industry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, September 26, 2012


Kelly Ball, OMF


Mayor Sam Adams is pleased to report that the City of Portland Revenue Bureau has completed its review of applications for new taxi vehicle permits in Portland and has recommendations regarding increasing both the number of companies servicing the area and the number of permits allotted to existing companies. The Bureau received applications from six current and three proposed new companies requesting a combined total of 257 new taxis be added to the current fleet of 382. The Bureau is recommending 132 be approved for a new fleet total of 514.

“The working conditions for taxi drivers, the business climate for the industry in the City, and issues of equity are concerns for me,” says Mayor Adams. “My thanks to the Revenue Bureau for doing a thorough evaluation of the industry and coming up with solid recommendations for new permits and other reforms that will provide better options for drivers and better service for taxi customers.”

The city regulates the taxi industry to ensure vehicles are safe, insured and operated by drivers with good records.

The Bureau is recommending one new company with 50 taxis be approved.  The Bureau also recommends approving the addition of 82 new taxi vehicle permits requested by the existing companies, to be phased in gradually over a period of three years.

“We found that Portland lags far behind comparable cities in terms of the number of taxis available per capita, and airport arrivals and departures are increasing, among other things,” said Revenue Bureau Director Thomas Lannom. 

The Bureau’s recommendations for new company taxi vehicle permits are based on an analysis of demand for taxis in Portland and a range of criteria including, but not limited to, available public transportation, the ratio of population to the number of available taxi cabs, and demonstrated need for additional taxi cab service. The Bureau’s recommendations for existing company taxi vehicle permits was based on each company’s ability to demonstrate they had an unmet demand for service; some of the existing companies made cases the Bureau found demonstrated a business need for additional permits, and other did not.

The Bureau is also recommending a broad range of reforms of the taxi industry.  These reforms are designed to improve taxi driver working and economic conditions, while improving service to taxi customers. A process is also proposed to update taxi company performance standards, and relate future issuance of permits to those standards.

The Bureau’s recommendations have been forwarded to the Private for-Hire Transportation Board of Review for consideration during its meetings on September 26 and October 10, 2012.

The Board of Review will consider the Bureau’s recommendations pertaining to new companies and added taxis for existing companies. If the Board approves, existing companies may add new cabs.  Subsequent to the October 10 Board of Review meeting, the City Council will hold a public hearing and will decide if new taxi companies will be approved.

“I find the Revenue Bureau’s recommendations to be compelling,” Mayor Adams added. “But I want to hear public feedback before making a final decision.”

Both recommendation documents are attached.

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Private For-Hire Transportation Program - Recommendations for Taxi Industry Reform

Staff Recommendation Report - City of Portland Taxi Vehicle Permits