ASHLAND, Ore. — Ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber have officially been approved to operate in the city of Ashland.

Ashland city councilors passed the ordinance with a 4 to 2 vote Tuesday.

“To people who are without cars to get transportation, I think it’s the way of the future,” said City Councilor Dennis Slattery.

After months of discussion and anticipation, many people are excited.

“I’m ecstatic because that means when I come in to visit, I can go out, and I can get home safely and make sure that everyone around me is safe as well,” said Kaleigh Newland who’s visiting the area.

While many store owners may see this as a boost to business, some are concerned about what it means for local taxi companies.

“These family operated taxi cab companies that have been around for many years will feel this. It’s devastating to them but perhaps they can adjust and move with this new service that’s available to everybody,” said Tom Dubois, co-owner of Louie’s of Ashland.

Under the new city law, drivers will have to pass a seven-year background check, pass a vehicle inspection if their car is over two years old and get a permit from the city but they won’t need a business license.

Councilors also voted to give the ordinance a one year trial run to keep the city’s options open.

“I would encourage people to let us know, send us emails, call the city if things aren’t going well and hopefully they do the same if things are going well,” said Slattery.

The new law takes effect in 30 days. Up until next month, riders could only be dropped off in Ashland.

Rayvan Vares

NBC5 News Multimedia Journalist Rayvan Vares was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He graduated from Southern Oregon University with a Communications degree. While attending SOU, he traveled across Asia and studied in Japan. When he’s not reporting, Rayvan enjoys working out, dancing hula and traveling.

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