It’s been several months since the city of Medford approved ride-sharing services. We’ve heard nothing about any progress regarding similar ride-sharing services in Ashland. We’ve missed utilizing ride-sharing during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays. And with no information, it looks certain we’ll miss the opportunity for other holidays. Can you get a status update so we can understand what’s road-blocking ride-sharing in Ashland?
— Mike M., Talent
Ashland officials are still studying the issue, Mike, though some of the behavior by the ride-sharing services might give them pause.
A transportation commission will take up the ride-sharing issue at the end of April, and it’s scheduled to go to the Ashland City Council by May 1.
But whether the city will embrace the ride-sharing services is up for debate.
“I can’t say right now,” said David Lohman, Ashland city attorney. “I just don’t know.”
At the same time, local citizens have expressed interest in using those services.
Mayor John Stromberg last November questioned Uber’s operations, saying it is “stepping over a number of lines” in light of several scandals. Other cities, including Portland, have had issues with the companies following local laws.
Since Stromberg made that statement, the Mail Tribune reported in February that Uber had 140 active drivers but only 50 have business licenses as required by law. Lyft had “hundreds” of drivers but only 20 have obtained licenses.
If it’s any consolation, Mike, you can use Uber or Lyft to take you from the Medford airport to Ashland. You just can’t order an Uber or Lyft inside of that city.
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