ASHLAND, Ore. -- By Monday evening, some people in Ashland were shocked to discover that Mayor John Stromberg had vetoed a new ordinance that most likely would have brought rideshares like Uber and Lyft into the city.
"I was like what, are you serious?" said John Kreiss, a frequent user of Uber and Lyft.
Bill Langton, an Uber and Lyft driver, told NewsWatch 12 he was upset about the news.
"The process has been going on for over a year. Thought we were almost there," Langton said.
Langton lives in Ashland, but he does most of his work in other parts of the Rogue Valley.
"My neighbors, my friends, my family and the visitors alike would love to have this service here in Ashland," Langton said.
"It's very, very helpful," Kreiss said.
Kreiss still doesn't believe the ride share companies aren't allowed in the city.
"There's a lot of college kids out here and the taxi is like twenty bucks and they can't afford that," Kreiss said.
Mayor Stromberg told NewsWatch 12 that he has good reasons to veto the bill. For one, he said, Uber and Lyft could be a potential problem for the city's climate energy action plan.
"So that means Uber has to somehow have enough people at all times who are available to meet the demand," the Mayor said.
Stromberg also said that the city of Ashland requires vehicles for hire to provide access for handicapped riders, provide comprehensive background check on drivers, and allow for inspection of vehicles.
"Uber balked at those," Stromberg said.
The Mayor claims that he and the entire City Council have felt pressure from the community to allow the rideshare companies into the city,
"When I was thinking about signing the ordinance I just thought, 'You know, there is a lot more to this and we really need to think about it,'" Stromberg said.
Meanwhile, Bill Langton maintains that the Mayor's veto is frustrating not only for drivers, but for visitors and people that live in Ashland.
"You have to explain to them that unfortunately you won't be able to utilize Uber or Lyft services while inside the city of Ashland," Langton said.