Portland files a lawsuit in support of dinosaur taxi cartel over free market Uber.

Mayor Charlie Hales has green lighted a lawsuit to stop free market based car service Uber from operating in Portland. 

The lawsuit was filed after the car ride company launched its service on Friday without permission from the city. From KATU: 

The city filed the lawsuit when the company didn’t respond to a cease-and-desist order. It is accusing the company of operating an illegal transportation service.

According to the city, Uber is trying to get away with doing business by saying it’s not a transportation company. Other cab companies in town follow many restrictions on fares and the numbers of drivers and permits required.

The city said it tried talking to Uber but the company blindsided it with no warning that it was launching in the city last Friday.

Despite the serious nature of a lawsuit, Hales joked about stopping the online car company at a public event:

No Title

No Description

These folks are over the moon about Uber’s move into Portland:

No Title

The happiest clams in Portland upon learning that we can now #UBER in #PDX @ Highway 26 http://t.co/qp9i21N4xe

Uber has started a petition to help dissuade the lawsuit:

No Title

portland sues @uber. #uber tells #PDX: “We need your help”- almost 7,000 petition online. #liveonk2 @ 6:08 pic.twitter.com/llbPOBc2J9

There are issues with Uber. There’s the issue with its naked politicking, threatening reporters and following reporters using its app. There’s the issue of its over-the-top surge pricing. The firm is attempting to become a category killer in the car sharing market by expanding quickly and ubiquitously before its Lyft and Sidecar counterparts can catch up. 

But is the free market appeal of Uber worse than a city operated crony cartel? 

7 Responses

  1. Perhaps this is one time a local government (Portland) should not be allowed to control the exercise of free enterprise. Cronyism in government, with its fees, taxation, and intimidation, has to be stopped…this is a good opportunity for people to speak up and and at least force some limit.

  2. i could never quite figure out how invividuals had gotten away with using air bnb in PDX. It empowers the people and takes power from unions, hotel conglomerates, and other powerful organizations. Guess Charlie has decided to put his foot down. Knowing nothing about it what would I find out if I looked at the money relationship between Mayor Charlie Hales and the Radio Cab company? Things that make Ya go hmmm.

  3. Victoria,

    Some fault Uber for its hubris. Most don’t dare accuse Portland of the same. I would suggest it is about time that Portland faced retribution for its own arrogance.

    1. I can’t believe they were able to talk Uber into standing aside for three months.Going rogue seems to have brought the City to the table, however, so I guess that’s a win.