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Dylan Rivera
503-823-3723

Diane Dulken
503-823-5552

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News Release: Task Force drafts recommendations as City Council prepares to consider April pilot program for Uber, Lyft and taxi services

Strong demand prompts council to approve new EcoCab taxi company, look to new rules for taxis and transportation network companies

(March 23, 2015) A combination of new city codes, administrative rules and a pilot program could allow Uber, Lyft and other Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) to legally provide service in Portland in April.

The Private for Hire Transportation Innovation Task Force was convened in January to recommend updates to the City’s private for-hire transportation safety regulations to include TNCs. The Task Force is on schedule to deliver its recommendations to the City Council on April 9 at 2 p.m. in City Council Chambers.

To implement the Task Force’s recommendations and update taxi regulations in line with City Council direction, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will offer a combination of administrative rules and city code revisions, to initiate a TNC pilot program. During the 120-day pilot program, permits will be available for companies such as Uber and Lyft to operate legally in Portland.

The Task Force’s work is divided into two phases. During phase 1, from January through April, the Task Force has focused on new rules for TNCs and taxis that the City could implement in a pilot program. During phase 2, from April through July, the Task Force will take a broader look at, and make recommendations for, permanent changes to all private for-hire transportation rules that regulate taxis, TNCs, limos, party buses, pedicabs and other private for-hire transportation operators.

Upcoming key dates for Phase 1 new taxi cab regulations to keep up with strong demand for taxi service:

Private for Hire Transportation Innovation Task Force Presents Recommendations at Portland City Council Meeting

What: Recommendations on key rules for the pilot program, including: driver background checks, vehicle inspections, insurance, access for people with disabilities, data collection, fares and other issues for transportation network companies and taxi companies. Task Force members will present recommendations and take questions from City Council. Public testimony will also be heard.

When: 2 p.m., April 9 at City Council Chambers, City Hall, 1221 SW Fourth Ave.

Portland City Council Meeting on Pilot Program

What: City Council to consider a resolution directing Transportation Director Leah Treat to launch a TNC Pilot Program based on the recommendations of the Task Force, April 9 City Council discussion and public input. Public testimony will also be heard.

When: April 15 at City Council Chambers, City Hall, 1221 SW Fourth Ave. (Time: To be determined).

To view a detailed timeline of the Task Force’s work and view a draft proposal of recommendations developed by a subcommittee of the Task Force, see www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/pdxrides or use the links provided here:

Timeline of the Task Force Discussion and Recommendations

Draft Subcommittee Preliminary Phase 1 Recommendations (March 18, 2015)

After April, during Phase 2, the Task Force will continue to review and gather input on private for-hire regulations for all modes, including taxi companies, TNCs, limos, party buses, pedicabs and other private for-hire transportation operators. The Task Force will present any additional recommendations to City Council this summer at the conclusion of Phase 2.

The City Council and the Portland Bureau of Transportation have already taken action to address high demand for taxi service in Portland. On March 18, 2015the City Council approved permits for EcoCab Portland, LLC.,the first new taxi company to start business in Portland since Union Cab was approved for operation in 2012. In February, the City’s Private for-Hire Transportation Board of Review approved 242 new taxi permits for existing taxi companies and recommended adding EcoCab with up to 51 permits.

Portland has a far lower rate of taxi availability than other U.S. cities of comparable size. According to a study by ECONorthwest, Portland had 7.5 taxis per 10,000 residents in 2013, the second-lowest among 10 cities in the study. Six of the 10 cities had taxis available at twice the rate as Portland.

View the ECONorthwest report, part of EcoCab’s permit application

For more information, to provide comments to the Task Force, or to join the PFHT Task Force Interested Parties email list, email project staff at pdxrides@portlandoregon.gov or call Francesca Patricolo 503-823-5087.

For more information about private for-hire transportation, visit: www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/pdxrides

To file a complaint about taxi service, call 503-865-2486 or email pdxrides@portlandoregon.gov.

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Traffic Advisory: Five-day closure on N Going Street ramp from Swan Island to N Greeley Avenue begins Saturday, March 21

(March 20, 2015)The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements require the closure of the ramp on N Going Street eastbound from Swan Island to N Greeley Avenue from Saturday, March 21 through March 25, 2015. The ramp closure will be in effect all hours and all days.

The ramp closure is necessary to allow crews to repair the failed road base and stabilize the foundation of the road to prevent potholes and other surface distresses.

Traffic will be detoured east on N Going Street to N Interstate Avenue or I-5 southbound. The traveling public is advised to expect delays while repairs are being made. We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all work zone signage, and use the alternate routes.

This work is weather-dependent and the schedule may change.


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Traffic Advisory: Winter paving to close lanes on NW Northrup Street from NW 14th to NW 23rd avenues March 23 through April 3

(March 19, 2015)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures on NW Northrup Street from NW 14th Avenue to NW 23rd Avenue Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3, 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. each work day.

Crews are improving 1.37 lane miles of the street, grinding down old asphalt and preparing the street for repaving at a later date when weather permits. 

Parking will be removed during the project from NW 14th to 16th avenues to make way for work crews and through traffic.  The Portland Streetcar will operate as usual.

PBOT street improvement crews work through the winter, adjusting tasks based on weather conditions. Crews will grind down old asphalt and prepare street surfaces for paving even in cold or rainy conditions. They will return to complete paving during a window of dry weather.

Streets with ground down surfaces are open for travel. Lane closures are only in effect during project hours. Access will be maintained for businesses and residents during the project.

The traveling public is advised to expect delays while repairs are being made. We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all lane closures and directions by flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible.  This work is weather-dependent and the schedule may change

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News Advisory: Crosswalk enforcement action slated for SE 82nd Avenue at SE Cooper Street’s unmarked crossing on March 25

(March 18, 2015) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau advise the traveling public that a crosswalk enforcement action is scheduled for Wednesday, March 25 at the unmarked crosswalk of SE 82nd Avenue and SE Cooper Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and Oregon traffic laws.

Under Oregon law, EVERY intersection is a legal crosswalk whether it is marked or unmarked.  Drivers must stop and stay stopped for pedestrians when the pedestrian is in the motor lane or the adjacent lane.

The SE 82nd Avenue and SE Cooper Street crossing has no paint lines at the crosswalk. It does have a pedestrian median island and signage to alert drivers to the possible presence of pedestrians in the crossing.   

Southeast 82nd Avenue is one of ten High Crash Corridors that the transportation bureau has prioritized for stepped up education, enforcement and safety improvements.

Each crosswalk enforcement action involves a designated pedestrian crossing at a marked or unmarked crosswalk while police monitor how people driving, bicycling and walking adhere to traffic safety laws. Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who fail to follow Oregon traffic laws may be issued a warning or citation.

Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Sharon White will serve as the designated pedestrian crossing the street during the first half of the action and a Portland police officer will serve that role during the second half.

Crosswalk enforcement actions are an effective way to communicate pedestrian right of way laws to both drivers and pedestrians. The transportation and police bureaus do enforcement actions about once each month in response to requests by community members, city traffic safety engineers, and Portland Police to educate the public on the rules at marked and unmarked crossings.              

Learn more about the Transportation Bureau’s safety work at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/40390 and pedestrian rights and responsibilities at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/435879

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News Release: Portland Aerial Tram Open Sunday, March 15th all day for Shamrock Run fans; along with free, fun activities for kids

(March 12, 2015) – The Portland Aerial Tram will be open Sunday, March 15, 2015 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to allow for improved access to Marquam Hill and Oregon Health and Science University during the Shamrock Run.

Avoid road closure delays and take the tram! During the popular run, which is sold out this year, the tram will provide the quickest and best access between South Waterfront and Marquam Hill. View road closures during the run at  http://www.shamrockrunportland.com/races/street-closures/

In addition, the tram will have a variety of free, fun activities for the whole family from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the lower station. Kids can bring home a leprechaun trap for St. Patrick's Day or pick up a Portland Tram activity book. Take the tram to the top of the hill and cheer on the runners at the half-way point. All crafts and activities are free. Round trip fare: $4.35; children 6 years of age and under ride for free!

Portland Aerial Tram normal hours of operation are weekdays 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The tram is open on Sundays only from May through September except for special occasions.

About the Portland Aerial Tram

The Portland Aerial Tram is owned by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation and operated by OHSU.  It opened to the public on Jan. 27, 2007. The cabins, named Walt and Jean, travel 3,300 linear feet between the South Waterfront terminal adjacent to the OHSU Center for Health & Healing, and the upper terminal at the Kohler Pavilion on OHSU's main campus. Traveling at 22 miles per hour, the tram cabins rise 500 feet for the three-minute trip over I-5, the Lair Hill neighborhood and the Southwest Terwilliger Parkway. Visit http://gobytram.com . Find the tram on Twitter @PortlandTram  and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/portlandaerialtram

 

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