Uber enlists drivers to use their own cars as de facto taxis, with customers summoning rides with the tap of a phone app. As WW reported last week, Portland remains the largest city on the West Coast where Uber isn't operating. Both Uber and its biggest competitor, Lyft, are lobbying City Council for a rule change.
They'll have to convince Commissioner Steve Novick, who this month began overseeing the city's Private For-Hire Transportation Board of Review.
Novick talked to WW in June about how he'd handle Uber and Lyft's demands to enter the city.
"Uber is a tricky issue," Novick said. "I think it’s worth having a broader conversation about how we actually regulate the taxi cab business overall—and maybe come up with a whole new structure in which, if they’re willing, Uber can operate."
But he isn't making Uber any promises. "We impose regulations on a taxi business," Novick said. "Uber says, 'We want to act like one but we don’t want to be subject to any of those regulations.'"
Watch Novick's full response in this video.