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Dec 18, 2014 7:25 PM

Uber suspends operations in Portland for 3 months

The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Less than two weeks after the ride-hailing app Uber launched in Portland without officials' approval, the company said it is suspending operations for three months to work out its differences with the city.

General manager Brooke Steger wrote in a blog post Thursday that Portland is working to update its regulations for private for-hire transportation so that Uber would be able to operate legally.

Steger wrote that Uber will pause pickups within Portland city limits beginning Sunday evening. It hopes to resume them in early April.

Mayor Charlie Hales said in a statement that a task force will make recommendations by April 9 on permits, pricing system, insurance, background checks and safety inspections, among others. It will also examine how these changes would impact driver earnings and working conditions.

The regulations will encompass taxi cabs, transportation network companies, limousines, pedicabs and shuttle services. After the city approves the regulations, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will immediately start issuing permits.

The city sued Uber three days after its Dec. 5 launch, asking a judge to order the San Francisco-based company to cease operations. The city said Uber violated its rides-for-hire regulations.

But on Thursday, Hales' spokesman, Dana Haynes, said the city was no longer seeking a restraining order.

Uber says it will continue operating in every suburb surrounding Portland, including Beaverton, Gresham, Hillsboro, and Tigard.

The company says that since it launched in Portland, it has delivered over 10,000 rides and more than 500 residents have signed up to become Uber drivers.

Uber has also faced opposition in other cities. Earlier this month, a judge ordered Uber's temporary suspension in Spain, saying it represents unfair competition.

New Delhi banned Uber after one of its drivers was accused of rape, and police in the Indian city say there's a possibility of criminal charges against the company if police find evidence it misrepresented the safety of its service.

And a Dutch court ruled that Uber violated current taxi laws and the company must stop working with drivers who charge fares but do not possess a taxi license.


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