Before Portland agreed to let ridesourcing companies such as Uber and Lyft operate within city limits, it implemented a 120-day pilot program to evaluate the companies’ performance and help develop a permanent set of regulations. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) issued permits allowing each company to legally operate within the city during the course of the pilot. To participate, companies had to pay a flat fee of $20,000 and meet several requirements, including data sharing and the provision of timely and equitable service to persons with disabilities. Each provider was required to adhere to a set of Equity and Inclusion Principles, which mandated that they:
Provide an option for riders on the company’s mobile app to request wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV) service
Respond to requests for WAV service within the same amount of time as comparable requests for non-WAV service
Offer WAV service without any additional fare charges
Make reasonable accommodations for service animals 45 46 PBOT also required that the companies provide anonymized data reports, including WAV-related performance, and cover the cost of data analysis.
Following the successful pilot, Portland’s city council voted to allow Uber and Lyft to operate permanently in Portland in December 2015.