It looks like Uber is now enjoying upsetting local city transportation officials by commencing operations even before getting any sort of approval. In a fresh incident, the company, out of the blue, ,has launched services in Portland, Oregon (via The Verge). And as has always been the case, the city officials are deeply offended.
Despite the city laws prohibiting company’s operations, Uber initiated its services in Portland is the local city transportation officials say, is a ‘flagrant violation of the law’. For each offence, the city can levy a $1,500 penalty against Uber and hit the driver with $2,250 in fines.
Portland’s transportation commissioner Steve Novick told The Oregonian
They think they can just come in here and flagrantly violate the law ? This is really amazing. Apparently, they believe they’re gods.
Under a city code prohibiting unlicensed taxis, Uber drivers also potentially face arrest and jail time. Portland’s taxi drivers have started to repel against Uber, calling the service unsafe and unregulated. Uber also introduced its mobile app in the region moments before initiating its operations.
Novick further said,
People who pick up passengers for Uber in Portland should know that they are operating illegally and could be subject to penalties. Public safety, fairness among competitors and customer service are our top priorities. Unlike permitted drivers, Uber drivers do not carry commercial insurance, putting Portland customers at great risk.
Uber’s general manager, Brooke Steger, said that the company can’t wait because people in Portland have been clamouring for the service since Uber began working in the nearby cities. Apparently, neighbouring cities including Vancouver and Washington have allowed Uber to operate.