EUGENE, Ore — The app-based ride sharing company Uber is picking up some flack along with its fares.
Wednesday the city of Eugene fined Uber $2,000 for operating without a city public passenger vehicle license.
Uber driver Brenda Laird says she needs the job.
“If I didn’t have this job I don’t know what I would do,” said Laird.
Laird is a contracted driver for Uber.
The company allows the driver to use their own car to pick up riders.
But she says it’s not a taxi service.
“We’re not renting cars and we don’t do what the taxis do,” said Laird.
Laird says drivers pay for their own gas, drive their own cars and are technically self-employed.
But the city of Eugene says based on current code they are a taxi service they must operate under a city public passenger vehicle license.
“We have the rules, the rules are there for a reason and even if we are planning to change the rules you can’t violate them simply because you don’t want to have them binding right now,” said Chris Pryor, Eugene City Councilor.
Uber has maintained they’ll continue to ignore the city’s regulations.
But Pryor says on Wednesday the council moved forward for a public hearing on this new ride sharing technology.
“A very small provision that allows for people who might want to hire a cab to be able to use an app on their smart phone to do that,” said Pryor.
It’s the quick touch of a screen that’s opened a whole new ball game and conversation on city code for taxis.
For Laird the new technology is keeping her on the road and employed.
She says she’ll continue to be behind the wheel despite the regulation battle.
“I’m going to keep driving, I need the job I need the money and as long as their around I’m going to keep driving,” said Laird.