ASHLAND, Ore-- You might start seeing Uber and Lyft around Ashland. The Ashland City Council just passed the ordinance tonight.
This topic has been discussed within the city council for the past 14 months. The conclusion tonight though only took five minutes to come to a decision. As soon as it was up for discussion it ended as quickly as it started.
Last week I told you that the mayor vetoed this ordinance after it was passed by city council. Tonight was the first night it has been discussed since.
It was actually suppose to be the second to last thing discussed, but they moved it up to half way. About half of the room was sitting there for that discussion. As I mentioned before it was a brief and quick decision.
The veto by the mayor had to be read. Then three different taxi companies spoke to the council about why Uber and Lyft is not good for the city. Mark Thomas from 333-3333 Taxi Company said to the council, "One of the things you might want to take into consideration is they pick up a number of people who don't have smart phones and will not be able to use Uber and Lyft then since you have to use your smart phone." He says part of the population will not be served.
Right after there was a motion to vote. There was no discussion among the council members at all. When it came to voting it passed two thirds of the council saying yes.
After it passed I stepped into the hallway to talk to Bill Langton an Uber and Lyft driver. We heard from Langton last week when the mayor vetoed the bill. Tonight he is all smiles, but reminds us that this doesn't mean Uber and Ashland are coming.
Langton says, "Hopefully soon…. The unfortunate thing that was not discussed this evening is that Uber and Lyft still have to come to an agreement with the city of Ashland. Just because the ordinance exists doesn't necessarily mean that Uber and Lyft will agree to the terms of the ordinance which is what they did not do last time."
Langton says this is just the beginning. Ashland also needs to come up with their permit process for the two companies. We will continue to follow this story.