Uber and Lyft welcome in Corvallis

The Corvallis City Council hears testimony from ASOSU President Simon Brundage on an ordinance to allow ride booking companies such as Uber or Lyft to operate in the community. The Council would later vote to allow operation.

The Baro Staff

This is an ongoing story, and will be updated as more details become available.

In a unanimous decision, the Corvallis City Council voted to allow ride booking companies like Lyft and Uber to operate in Corvallis.

This ordinance, which passed Sept. 18 just before 8 p.m., will adjust the city code to allow Corvallis residents to utilize ride booking apps, which allow a user to request a ride with a few taps on a smartphone. The ordinance would replace the current Corvallis Municipal Code Chapter 8.07 governing taxi service regulations and licenses, which previously made operating these services illegal.

At the meeting, many business representatives and community members gave testimony, both for and against the proposal. Owners and drivers of multiple taxicab companies argued against the change, citing concerns for the safety of ride booking services as well as the impact on small, locally-owned businesses. The ordinance was supported during the proceedings by representatives of both Uber and Lyft, as well as Associated Students of Oregon State University President Simon Brundage.

Brundage began his term in June pushing to allow these services to operate in Corvallis, and has spent the summer giving testimony before the City Council and collaborating with ride booking companies themselves to make this promise a reality.

“I just think this is an incredible victory for students,” Brundage said. “I really sympathize with a lot of the sentiments expressed by taxi drivers here in the city of Corvallis, but overall I see this as a net benefit for the community in terms of sustainability, local job growth, but also, and most importantly in my opinion, the safety of our students on campus, which constitute a significant portion of the Corvallis population.”

To read the text of the ordinance in the City Council Agenda, click here and go to page 67.