Washington: International taxi-booking service Uber, which has been banned in Delhi after a woman passenger accused one of its drivers of rape, has been sued by the US city of Portland for operating its service illegally.
The city of Portland in Oregon sued Uber, three days after the California-based ride sharing service launched its widely publicised service last Friday. In its lawsuit, the city of Portland asked the court to declare that the ride provider is subject to city regulations and can't operate in until it complies with city rules.
The Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, argued that the city's main concern is public health and safety. "Our main concern is public health and safety, because the state invested in the cities the responsibility to do that. Beyond that, though, is the issue of fairness. Taxi cab companies follow rules on public health and safety," he said.
"So do hotels and restaurants and construction companies and scores of other service providers. Because everyone agrees: good regulations make for a safer community. Uber disagrees, so were seeking a court injunction," Hales said. After the lawsuit was filed, Transportation Commissioner Steve said the city is prepared to issue civil and criminal penalties against Uber and its drivers for operating without required permits and inspections.
Portland requires permits for drivers and companies that offer taxi or executive sedan service within the city limits. "If Uber thinks there should be no maximum price on what they charge Portlanders, they should make their case to the Portland City Council. If Uber thinks taxi companies shouldn't have to serve people with disabilities, they should make their case.
If Uber thinks taxis should not have to have proper insurance in case of a crash, they should tell us why we should allow that," Novick said. The lawsuit asked the Court to order Uber to stop operating in Portland until it is in compliance with the City's safety, health and consumer protection rules. Earlier another city in Oregon Eugene had asked Uber to cease its operation.
Uber was banned from operating in Delhi after the passenger accused one of its drivers of rape. Similarly, Dutch judges banned UberPOP, which allows non-professional drivers to register with Uber via a mobile phone and offer trips in their own cars at half the price of a regular cab.
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