The popular Uber ride share service has now been operating illegally for a couple of weeks in Portland and local cabbies are starting to help the police in the city to be able to take the service’s drivers off the roads by ratting them out to their auto insurance companies.
It started on Friday when a tweet was made on the Radio Cab Twitter account encouraging cabbies to rat out Uber drivers.
The tweet suggested to taxi drivers to collect the license plate numbers of Uber drivers so that they could be tattled to auto insurance companies. The reason is that the law in Oregon states that personal vehicle policies don’t provide drivers with the coverage that is required to use those cars to transport commercial passengers. Should a driver be caught in violation of that law, he or she could end up losing that private coverage, meaning that they wouldn’t be able to drive in the state at all – regardless of whether or not they are picking up an Uber passenger.
Clearly, Uber drivers who are hoping to keep up their income are hoping their auto insurance providers won’t find out.
Police officers in the city started keeping their eyes open for Uber drivers in Portland only moments after the service was launched without obtaining the permission of the city. As the app functions by providing a passenger with the name and license plate number of the driver whenever a ride is called, officers had been logging onto the app in an effort to catch drivers that were in violation of the taxi laws in the city.
The main problem that the law enforcement officers faced in this effort was that the Uber ride share service was so greatly popular in the city that they were not able to book a ride.
Uber has caused frustration with taxi companies and drivers in every city into which it has entered. Critics of the service have accused the company of deliberately violating local and state laws in order to be able to obtain an unfair advantage over the established cabbies.
That said, a recent report issued by the Portland Bureau of Transportation revealed that when taxis are needed the most – particularly when it comes to events and large holidays – the city remains greatly underserved by its present fleets. The city code requires that an hour’s reservation be made in advance for non-taxi ride services and it keeps up a rigid taxi license issuing quota each year.
Outside of events and holidays, local taxi drivers feel that their incomes are threatened by Uber drivers and they are using they are now tattling to auto insurance companies to help to keep their own earning potential as high as possible outside of events and holidays.