June 28, 2017

Salem city council moves forward on Uber

UBER Logo on black background
Image Courtesy of UBER

A new mayor has signaled a push for ride-hailing services in the state capital. Jonathan Bach / Statesman Journal Buy Photo Salem city councilors on Monday pushed forward with city code changes that may eventually allow Uber and Lyft in the state capital, though they are still far from officially approving and instituting those changes.

In the lead-up to the council meeting, City Hall staffers drafted code amendments that would set up similar rules for taxi companies and companies that use ride-hailing apps — also called transportation network companies.

Local taxi company Willamette Valley Yellow Cab fired back with its own suggested changes for the draft amendments, including a requirement that drivers be at least 23 years old, not 21.

City staff looked to a Bend ordinance and molded the Central Oregon city’s rules to better fit Salem. Though Salem is considering its own rules, Oregon lawmakers have sponsored House Bill 3246 , which would institute statewide rules for these kinds of ride-hailing companies.

Willamette Valley Yellow Cab officials came to council chambers to voice their opposition, citing concerns about the city lowering standards for the companies. Company owner Al Wakefield said Uber is "getting a bad rap."

The Salem council meeting came after […]

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