Ride sharing companies coming to Roseburg

City officials have approved ordinance to allow ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in Roseburg.

Posted: Aug 14, 2018 7:08 PM

Roseburg, Ore --  Roseburg City Council has passed a new ordinance allowing companies like Uber and Lift to operate within city limits.

That new ordinance replaced the city’s “Taxi and Limousine” ordinance that taxi companies had been following for years.

Now, more competition will be coming to town, and those taxi companies are worried about regulation.

The Transportation Network Company ordinance does bring some benefits to the taxi companies.

They can have as many cars as they want, in any color they want, for $480 a year.

Same goes for companies like Uber and Lyft.

However, D.C. Sunshine Taxi owner Taj Gombart is worried about people following the rules.

“Any city that doesn’t have requirements for a TNC, they can file there,” Gombart said. “They can come to Winston, be like, ‘hey, I’m a Winston driver,’ and go pick up in Roseburg. Now, under the old ordinance, they couldn’t do – a Winston taxi couldn’t pick up in Roseburg. Now, it’s a free-for-all.”

Roseburg City Councilor Brian Prawitz said the provision requiring any taxi or ridesharing company driver to get a license with the city should hopefully limit that issue.

But even he admits that it could be something they’ll have to address.

“That’s one of those details that’s going to have to get worked out,” Prowitz said. “But we’ve put some things in place so that operators that want to operate under the law can do so hopefully easily. Hopefully not with a whole lot of hassle.”

Over the next year, City Recorder Amy Sowa said city staff will be collecting complaints and praise from companies and residents and using that to address any issues that come up in the most effective way possible.

“We are going to want to monitor it and see how it’s going,” Sowa said. “Mostly it’s going to be based on complaints or positives from everybody, but, yeah, we’re going to be keeping a close eye on it and definitely giving a report to the council after a year.”

Sowa said the city is now waiting for companies like Uber and Lyft to request to operate within the city.

She said they’ve been working closely with Uber since March and believe the company will accept their ordinance as it is written.

If that’s the case, drivers can start applying for licenses in 30 days.

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