'Uber' wants to operate in Portland, but barriers stand in their way
Those regulations are in place to protect the taxi industry. Cab companies say in exchange for that protection, they play by a series of rules that aren't necessarily good for business but serve the public.
That includes not refusing any ride, no matter how short or unprofitable. They also are required to have wheelchair accessible vehicles and operate 24 hours a day.
On Monday I chatted with Uber founder Travis Kalanick about his push to get into Portland, plus similar fights he has waged elsewhere.
"There are laws and regulations in Portland that are designed specifically to stifle any kind of competition or any kind of transportation alternatives in the city," Kalanick said. "It's done so, basically, to protect the taxi industry. In fact, Portland has some of the most extreme protectionist laws that we've seen around the country."
Check out my full story in the KATU.com politics section to read more about Kalanick and Broadway Cab president Raye Miles, who cautions city leaders about changing existing regulations.