Does Portland Need More Taxis?

Apparently so, according to a staff report (PDF, 151K) prepared for the Private for-Hire Transportation Board and City Council.

taxis

But as that report, and the accompanying recommendations for industry reform document (PDF, 39K), indicate being a taxi driver is apparently only one step up from indentured servitude. Among the challenges for drivers:

  • Drivers are treated as independent contractors rather than employees
  • Cab companies charge an exorbitant series of fees to drivers beyond the use of the vehicle
  • Hotel and restaurant valets demand to be paid by drivers for fares
  • A loophole in insurance regulation means that drivers don’t have medical coverage if injured in a crash

It sounds like change may be in the wind…

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