Sources say the Portland Bureau of Transportation has ended bike share contract negotiations with Lyft and is now jumping on board with Uber.
PBOT sought bidders for a major bike share system expansion last fall and opted to stay with Lyft, the company that owns Biketown operator Motivate Inc. Portland’s current contract with Lyft ended in April and PBOT had been negotiating an extension of that agreement since December. As The Oregonian reported in January, the plan was to stay with Lyft and complete a seamless transition to a larger service area and launch an all-electric bike share fleet this summer.
People who drive for ride-sharing company Uber frequently ignore a key traffic law that impacts bicycle access on major streets. And when called out for doing so the drivers have a tendency to lash out at — and in some cases physically assault and/or harrass — other road users.
We now know of three such incidents in the past ten weeks.
This morning we received an email from a reader who came upon an Uber driver who was parked on the new raised bike lane on NE Couch as it enters the Burnside Bridge. When the bicycle rider confronted the person inside the car and attempted to photograph the vehicle, he claims he was verbally threatened. “He got out of his vehicle, got face-to-face with me, and threatened to asssault me.” Not wanting the situation to escalate, the man on the bicycle says he stood down and let the driver vent. That tactic didn’t prevent the driver from forcibly grabbing his bike and throwing it aside.
On October 19th another Portlander tried to document illegal and dangerous parking by someone who drives for Uber (and Lyft). He said the driver got mad, stepped out of the car, and grabbed his phone. He captured it on Twitter…
The latest front in the City of Portland’s ongoing war against traffic injuries and deaths is the windshields of taxis and other for-hire vehicles.
The Bureau of Transportation just unveiled a new window decal they’ve begun to issue through their Private For-Hire Program. That program regulates all permitted taxi and other transportation network company (TNC) operators like Uber and Lyft.
SW Park Street, a bit south of the incident described. (Photo: Marilyn M)
Here’s a troubling incident that doesn’t directly involve a bike, but certainly could have.
Less than a month after Portland became one of the first cities to legalize Internet-based ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, it calls into question the street culture that such services could be creating.
According to a local lawyer, it seems to qualify as a hit-and-run. Police are declining to investigate.
Here’s the account from reader John E. (emphases mine):
A flurry of end-of-year activity at Portland City Hall Wednesday led to changes in three different stories we’ve been tracking on BikePortland.
With Commissioner Amanda Fritz playing a key role in all three votes, the council agreed to delay changes to pedicab rules that would have required pedicab operators to hold driver’s licenses and have a year of continuous driving experience; to require a one-time “defensive driving” training for taxi, Lyft and Uber workers rather than retrainings every two years; and to allow small accessory dwelling units to be built near the edge of properties as long as they’re no larger than the garages that have long been allowed near property lines.
Portland’s new regulations of for-hire transportation companies, released last week, include an interesting change that’s supposed to target the problem: the city’s first mandatory safety training for drivers of taxis and “transportation network companies” like Uber or Lyft.
Carsharing service Uber announced a new bike rack option this morning. Dubbed “UberPEDAL” the new system will allow Uber customers to request a car through their app that can pick both them and their bike.
Language Matters is an occasional column about the ways we talk about bikes and biking.
When bike believers get political, they often struggle with talking points. People who know the argument for biking in their bones can forget that those who don’t ride won’t be convinced without words.
David Plouffe has never struggled with talking points.
When the news went around last year that Helsinki was planning to “make car ownership pointless within 10 years,” it was misread in some quarters as a plan to remove cars completely from the Finnish capital.
If Portland’s street safety advocates hope to put special requirements on Uber drivers, they’d better move fast.
On Thursday afternoon, city officials reached a deal that will make Uber and similar ride-summoning services legal by April 9. In exchange, Uber promised to suspend its service in the city starting on Sunday.