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April 15th, 2009 WW Editorial Staff | Rogue of the Week
 

Portland Revenue Bureau

A wheel pain for local business.

     
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Jonathan Magnus, owner of 16-year-old Pdx Pedicab, figures city regulation of his eight pedicabs and the rest of his industry is inevitable.

But Magnus would like to have had some say in that regulation. Instead, the Portland Revenue Bureau last week released a new Private For Hire Transportation code without reaching out to many of the estimated 46 pedicabbies in Portland who provide an engine-free alternative to getting around town.

The Revenue Bureau, which oversees the city’s cabs and limousines, has for safety reasons sought since December to include pedicabs in its revised code.

Fine—if the bureau hadn’t Roguishly left Magnus and other pedicab operators out of the loop when it imposed those new regulations, which initially included mandatory driver’s licenses, fire extinguishers, and commercial auto insurance for all pedicabbies. Although the driver’s license mandate has been revised to a requirement that pedicabbies carry a valid photo ID, the rest of the regulations remain in effect.

Shane Abma of the city attorney’s office says the information has been posted on the city website for months, and that officials have made “change after change” to address pedicabbies’ concerns.

Although Magnus runs the city’s oldest pedicab service, he never got word of the April 8 meeting about the new regulations until the morning it convened.

“Really, you couldn’t call me?” Magnus says.

Ryan Hashagen, who operates Portland’s largest pedicab service, 35-vehicle Cascadia Pedicabs, tells a similar story. He saw the new regulations, a 38-page document, for the first time only a half hour before the meeting.


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