Uber PDX Progress Report
It’s been awhile since we announced our intention to bring Uber to Portland, delivered on-demand ice cream, and organized a meetup to introduce ourselves to the local community, so we wanted to share a note about our progress and how you can help us make the dream of connecting Rose City riders with safe, stylish, and reliable transportation a reality.
Over the past few months, we’ve been explaining to city leaders why outdated, anti-competitive local regulations make our presence impossible and how city code can be updated to benefit consumers and embrace transportation innovation.
Tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 19) we will appear at a public meeting of the Private-for-Hire Transportation Board of Review (which advises city officials on matters relating to the for-hire transportation industry) and we’d love to have you join us. The meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. at 111 SW Columbia St, 8th Floor Conference Room B.
Momentum is Building
In addition to hearing from many of you on Twitter and seeing your enthusiasm for Uber as part of a community Change.org petition, we’re incredibly grateful to have the support of the Technology Association of Oregon and Portland Business Alliance, which represent many small, medium, and large businesses spanning diverse sectors of the state and local economy. These groups, along with local entrepreneurs and startup executives, have penned letters in to Mayor Charlie Hales urging the city to allow Uber to connect driver partners and riders in Portland.
- In the Technology Association of Oregon’s letter, President Skip Newberry noted that Portlanders and visitors alike have experienced Uber in other markets and are surprised when they arrive here and find their choices to be far more limited than they are elsewhere. The Silicon Forest “is not living up to its reputation as an innovator in both transportation and technology,” he wrote.
- Portland Business Alliance President & CEO Sandra McDonough, who wrote to the mayor on behalf of nearly 1,600 members, argued that “a range of innovative transportation options will expand shopping, tourism and entertainment options for people whether they are employees of local businesses or tourists experiencing the city for the first time.” She acknowledged that Uber is “safe, convenient, and loved by consumers across the country and here in Portland.”
- Finally, more than 25 Portland innovators stressed in their letter that the city’s reputation as one of the nation’s hottest startup hubs is at risk because outdated, obstructionist rules “are holding Portland back from welcoming emerging technologies that would give people additional options to get around town.” They expressed their frustration that Uber, which is available in more than 40 locations — including other competitive startup cities like Seattle and San Francisco– is locked out of our city.
As we’ve said before, and the testimonials above illustrate, consumers and the broader community benefit from more choices for safe, convenient, and reliable transportation. We will keep you updated on the latest here and on Twitter at @Uber_PDX! In the meantime, keep the support coming and let @MayorPDX know that #WeWantUberPDX.
Today, we are excited to announce that Uber will give $5.5M to support a new robotics faculty chair as well as three fellowships at CMU. This gift is part of a partnership we announced earlier this year. In addition, we’re pumped to be part of a growing innovation ecosystem in Pittsburgh that includes world leading research institutions and companies, as well as an increasing number of start-ups.
A new report conducted in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reveals that when empowered with more transportation options like Uber, people are making better choices that save lives.