Uber, Lyft weigh in on City of Eugene proposal as future of ridesharing remains uncertain

Ride Sharing (MGN ONLINE)

EUGENE, Ore. — There are nine days left in a public comment period on Eugene's latest Public Passenger Vehicles code.

Back in April, the City Council made it easier for Uber or Lyft to operate in Eugene, with updated rules on background checks, insurance requirements and vehicle safety checks.

At this point, we still don't know if, or when, ridesharing services could come to Eugene.

On Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson from the city told us that Uber submitted a comment.

Uber and Lyft representatives submitted a joint statement. The companies provided the following copy of that statement:

June 20th, 2018

Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz,

We are pleased to offer comments in response to the proposed rules regulating Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). The Eugene city council and staff are to be commended for their work to bring multi-modal transportation to the community of Eugene and surrounding areas. We appreciate the collaborative nature of this process and willingness of Eugene to solicit input from a wide range of stakeholders.

In 2017 the cities of Corvallis, Bend, Redmond, Salem and Medford carefully considered permitting ridesharing in their cities. After months of debate and public hearings each of these cities passed substantially similar ordinances that updated their city codes to allow for the operation of rideshare services within their jurisdictions. These cities brought the ability to get a safe, reliable ride in minutes at the push of button to tens of thousands of riders across the state. By expanding the transportation options available to their constituencies they also created thousands of opportunities for Oregonians to earn extra income while providing rides to their community and visitors. By modernizing their codes these cities, similar in size to Eugene, brought consistency to private transportation regulations across geographic regions that encompass about half of the approximately 4 million people living throughout Oregon.

This means rideshare service is now available in nearly every urban area throughout Oregon except in and around Eugene.

We greatly appreciate the resolution passed by the City Council earlier this year directing the city to update Eugene private transportation code and rules to bring the city in line with these other Oregon cities. In both city council discussions and meetings with staff we learned that the city’s intention was to align specifically with the ordinance passed by the City of Medford.

We have been preparing as an industry to launch rideshare service throughout the Eugene metro area in anticipation of the completion of this process. Unfortunately, Eugene’s proposed rules are not in alignment with Medford’s or with those of the other aforementioned cities, and therefore cannot facilitate the launch of rideshare in Eugene.

As a resource, we have provided links to the ordinances in Bend, Salem, Corvallis, and Medford. We look forward to the opportunity to provide rideshare services in your community, and hope that Eugene will align with the last 5 cities to welcome rideshare in Oregon by adopting a modern, streamlined regulatory structure that has proven to provide safe and reliable transportation options for tourists, riders, drivers, and Oregon communities.

Rena Davis,

Senior Public Policy Manager, Lyft

Jon Isaacs

Public Affairs Manager, Uber

The comment period ends June 29. Then, the City Council will review and evaluate what everyone had to say.

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