- Associated Press - Thursday, July 14, 2016

BEND, Ore. (AP) - Though ridesharing has not yet rolled into central Oregon, some residents are calling for the service as an alternative to long waits for transportation in Bend and surrounding cities.

Current regulations in Bend covering taxi services would conflict with services like Uber and Lyft’s typical way of operating, but City Attorney Mary Winters said city officials might be willing to work with the companies if they were interested in expanding to the area, The Bulletin reported (https://is.gd/728k1u ).

“Right now, you’d have to come under our taxicab rules. But if they came to the city and said they wanted some other rules we’d have to have a discussion and look at what other cities have done,” Winters said. “If they come to us and there’s a market and the community wants them, the City Council would decide whether to direct our legal department to do more research and to look at a different process.”

Transportation officials in the city say it’s unclear if rideshare services would have consistent clientele in the city, as the demand for taxis and shuttles fluctuates.

Taxis of Bend owner Randy Mahaney said big events can cause waits of up to an hour for cabs, but often other times it isn’t too busy.

“Transportation is really big here,” he said, “and I don’t foresee the need for Uber or Lyft being that there are seven taxi companies, two town car companies and buses.”

However people waiting more than an hour for a ride home have said they want more options. The Facebook page “Uber for Bend Oregon” is trying to get local support for the rideshare service. Thursday the page had about 50 likes.

“I would like to see Uber or Lyft here, I think every citizen would,” said Richard Orazetti, who has seen customers wait for up to 45 minutes to catch a cab from his restaurant D&D; Bar and Grill on a Friday night. “Plus, the competition would improve all of the services in town.”

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Information from: The Bulletin, https://www.bendbulletin.com


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