Updated 6:05pm with Uber’s response.
Add Portland, Ore., to the list of cities challenging Uber’s right to exist within their borders.
The City of Portland filed suit today against the alternative transportation startup, which is reportedly worth more than $40 billion after a recent $1.2 billion infusion of capital.
In addition, Portland’s director of transportation issued a cease and desist order, demanding that Uber stop operating within the city immediately, and remain out of operation “until such time as appropriate permits are obtained and Uber is in full compliance with the requirements of Portland City Code Chapter 16.40.”
That part of the city code concerns the licensing of taxi and limousine services. According to city officials, Uber needs to secure permits in order to operate within city limits — something it has not done.
Uber began operating in Portland on December 5, despite protests from city officials that it was not legal. Over the weekend, Portland’s press release about the lawsuite states, three city officials received rides from Uber (presumably in order to verify that it was operating illegally). In addition, Uber drivers accepted but then cancelled two rides from transportation bureau officials.
“Our main concern is public health and safety, because the state invested in the cities the responsibility to do that,” Mayor Charlie Hales said in the press release. “Beyond that, though, is the issue of fairness. Taxi cab companies follow rules on public health and safety. So do hotels and restaurants and construction companies and scores of other service providers. Because everyone agrees: good regulations make for a safer community. Uber disagrees, so we’re seeking a court injunction.”
Uber shows no signs of ceasing or desisting, and responded with a statement of its own.
“Uber has received a tremendously warm welcome from riders and drivers in and around Portland. We appreciate the way residents have welcomed Uber into the Rose City, their support illustrates why it’s time to modernize Portland transportation regulation. In less than 4 hours, nearly 7,000 Portland residents have signed the petition in support of Uber and we remain hopeful that the city will listen to Portlanders who want safe, reliable, hassle free ride options now.”
Portland’s entire lawsuit against Uber (.pdf) is available online.
Many other lawsuits have been filed against Uber — when we last counted in May, 2014, there were 13 Uber lawsuits across the U.S. alleging a variety of violations.
Internationally, the city of Delhi banned Uber today in the wake of allegations that an Uber driver raped a passenger.
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