Companies like Uber and Lyft can now operate in Portland, Oregon without the threat of legal action, at least for the next four months. Late Tuesday, the City's council narrowly approved a pilot program that allows for-hire car services to run in Portland for the next 120 days, as long as they follow certain guidelines. Some of those include background checks for drivers, liability insurance for drivers, 24/7 operation, and "service performance measures" to pick up disabled passengers. Controversially, the proposal also allows local cab companies to adjust their own fares without regulation in order to match variable, on-demand pricing.
Local cabs can now do Surge pricing too
Uber caused a stir in Portland back in December, deciding to jump the gun and launch in the city, despite not having approval from local officials. The city bit back, suing Uber and filing a cease and desist order. Days later, the two sides made peace after Portland promised to allow the company (and others like it) to operate in three months time if it hadn't ironed out revisions to its transportation laws by then.
It's unclear whether Portland will have finalized the proposal into something a little more long term by the time the deadline ends. Not waiting to find out, ride-sharing service Lyft says it plans to launch in the city this Friday.
Update April 23rd, 12:45AM: Adds additional details about requirements for ride-sharing companies, and corrects details about requirements for carrying disabled passengers.