uberxUberX is illegal in Vancouver, Wash., but the transportation startup doesn’t appear to be leaving town any time soon.

As noted by BikePortland.org this morning, Vancouver Assistant City Attorney Brent Boger penned a memo late last month that basically called out Uber for failing to follow regulations outlined by the city for taxicabs.

UberX, which allows everyday people to drive riders around town with their own vehicles, does not comply with Vancouver’s laws “unless it makes significant changes to the business model,” Boger writes. Uber, which launched its UberX service in Vancouver last month, would need to apply for certain permits and be approved by the city to legally conduct business.

But toward the end of his memo, Boger notes how “comprehensive enforcement of the City’s Taxi Code is, from a practical perspective, not possible, given limited city staffing.” If the City Council is willing to find a way to allow UberX and other TNCs to operate, Boger offers two solutions: Deregulate the taxicab industry, or create an ordinance similar to Seattle’s that establishes new regulations for the TNCs.

Uber doesn’t appear to be worried.

UberX is live in Salem and Eugene, but not Portland.
UberX is live in Salem and Eugene, but not Portland.

“Regulatory models have not kept pace with innovation,” an Uber spokeswoman told BikePortland. “We look forward to working with officials all over Washington to get a statewide solution that addresses this emerging industry.”

And that shouldn’t surprise anyone — Uber has operated illegally in cities all over the world for quite some time. The company did so in Seattle until the City Council approved new regulations in June.

However, Uber has been unusually cautious about entering Portland, which is just a short drive across the Columbia River from Vancouver. As we highlighted in January, Uber tried to convince Portland’s lawmakers to change its regulations but hasn’t found success yet.

Regardless, Uber has put up more than 300 postings on the Portland Craigslist job board and the company began operating in Vancouver last month. In addition, UberX became available in Salem and Eugene last month as well.

It will be interesting to see if and when Portland opens its doors to the likes of Uber and Lyft, especially given how the city has been so cordial with Airbnb, another startup in the “sharing economy” category.

Related: The Uber vs. Lyft fight is reaching absurd levels

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  • guest

    Let the cancellations begin!

  • https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6251060&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile Dave Humphrey

    #Vancouver you suck!
    Go #Uber Go. We need you here in Vancouver desperately!!

  • Guest

    Unacceptable. We demand TNC service in Vancouver.

    (By the way, the headline is misleading; I thought you meant the real Vancouver, not the backwater suburb of Portland)

    • guest

      This from someone whos probably never been outside their basement.

  • guest

    Just arrest and fine a few Uberx drivers and they’ll leave town pretty quickly. Uber can not claim they don’t know that what they’re doing in Vancouver is illegal. Their continued operation there says they are not going to follow the law. As a consumer, I can’t trust them to follow any laws and therefore they won’t get my business in Vancouver or anywhere else.

    • Guest

      Thank you for not using Uber. One more car for me to use whilst you’re on the phone with Yellow Cab, asking about the fully licensed shitheap you requested 30 minutes ago.

    • KillerNukes

      Unlike the taxi drivers who assiduously follow ALL of the laws in their broke-ass 300K+ mileage pollution spouting mid-70s autos.

  • KillerNukes

    The 1% protects their own until the will of the people is overwhelming!

  • Robyn Stewart Hansen

    Beware! Personal auto insurance policies restrict using vehicles in any business like this. So, if you are a Uber driver and you are involved in an accident the insurance company will cancel your policy, and they can deny paying any claims due to misrepresentation on the drivers part, which puts you on the front line of any lawsuits. All personal policies restrict this type of business use for obvious reasons – lawsuits! Do not be fooled.

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