As regular readers may recall, I have argued before that we should liberalize the onerous and anti-competitive regulations surrounding taxi service in Portland. Last year, the city took an important first step in revising those regulations and expanding service when it undertook a series of reforms aimed at improving worker conditions and approved new permits, mostly for a new cab company called Union Cab.
The Portland Mercury reported last week on the progress of these reforms. They characterize it as “slow going,” but of course instituting new performance measures and enforcing them is bound to take time. In a year from now we should have a better idea of the effects of the reforms. As far as Union Cab goes, it sounds like they are ready to hit the streets in the next month or so. It will be good to see more competition and more cabs on the street!
Zef Wagner is a student in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at Portland State University, specializing in transportation planning.