As it waits for the regulatory green light, Uber is revving its engine for the planned relaunch of its ride-hailing service in the Eugene-Springfield area — including the airport — on Thursday morning.
Uber announced its relaunch date on Thursday, shortly after it submitted its application for an operating license from the city of Eugene — but before it received approval. An Uber spokesman said the company was confident the city would approve the application.
City officials didn’t issue the license Friday, saying they were seeking a couple of clarifications to Uber’s application. The earliest the city could issue the license is Tuesday given the three-day weekend.
But the company is working to make sure approved drivers are at the ready when the service is scheduled to restart at 10 a.m. Thursday with Mayor Lucy Vinis taking a ceremonial first ride.
“A big part of the launch process is making sure there’s cars on the road when we turn the service on so people can get a ride,” said Nathan Hambley, Uber’s spokesman.
Uber operated illegally in the area for less than a year before suspending operations in April 2015.
The company is accepting online applications and approving drivers ahead of the anticipated relaunch, Hambley said.
But the drivers, who must be at least 21 years old, still would need to receive city certification before they legally can drive passengers in the Eugene-Springfield area. The city will begin accepting and granting certifications as soon as it grants Uber an operating license, said Rachelle Nicholas, the city’s code compliance supervisor.
To apply for a certification, drivers would need to appear in-person at the Atrium Building, 99 W. 10th Ave. They would need to complete the application form, available online or on-site, and bring a valid state-issued driver’s license, proof of both Uber driver approval and personal automobile insurance, a completed vehicle inspection form — obtained through Uber’s process — and $65. The city will accept cash, money order, and debit or credit card.
Following a review, drivers would receive a certification card during that same visit. With a certification card in hand, approved drivers then would need to check in with Uber to begin working for the service.
The Eugene Police Department will run a criminal background check on drivers, and the certification will be suspended and the city will notify Uber if the check flags anything.