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Grants Pass City Council Takes Another Look At Rideshares

You might start seeing rideshares like Uber and Lyft in Grants Pass soon. That's because the City Council is taking another look at allowing them to operate in the city.

Posted: May 16, 2018 6:43 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- You might start seeing rideshares like Uber and Lyft in Grants Pass soon. That's because the City Council is taking another look at allowing them to operate in the city.

According to the Grants Pass city attorney, Uber and Lyft drivers could actually already be taking passengers from point a to point b.

"Someone could arrange for an Uber or Lyft ride in Josephine County but outside of city limits. So as long as the ride originates outside of city limits, they could still drop passengers off in Grants Pass," City Attorney Mark Bartholomew said.

The owner of a Grants Pass taxi company, JC’s Taxi isn't flinching at the possibility that rideshares could be allowed within city limits.

“We are a family owned business. We strive on professionalism, cleanliness and reliability. I don't like there’s competition. They're not going to blow us out of the water. I think there is room for everyone," said owner Drea Madamba Porto.

Her concerns lie with the rules her company has to follow under the current ordinance. She's worried Uber and Lyft might not have to.

"I just want them to have to pay commercial insurance just like we do and business taxes just like we do. The background, the fingerprints, the process of three to six weeks for a background check,” Porto added.

Bartholomew said that's a few of the issues, City Council is discussing Wednesday night.

"This ordinance calls for an increase in insurance coverage and the council was concerned with how much that would result in premium increases for taxi cab drivers," he said.

The City Council is also concerned with the background checks process. Bartholomew added background checks are done with the public safety department. But if rideshares are allowed, city council would have to change the ordinance to allow third party background checks for rideshares and taxis.

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