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Some in Central Oregon no fans of Uber

Cabbies not impressed with ride-sharing offering

Some in C.O. no fans of Uber

BEND, Ore. - Not surprisingly, local taxi companies aren't thrilled with Uber's arrival in Central Oregon.

One argument against Uber, which brings ride-sharing to the region Thursday, is that, being a non-local company, it isn't going to keep the money it makes local. Instead, taxi companies say, as time goes on, more and more of the money it makes will go right back to corporate headquarters.

"The taxi companies themselves produce revenue for the city of Bend," Taxis of Bend owner Randy Mahaney said Wednesday. "We spend our money here, and eventually, that money is going to go away if the goal that Uber has happens."

That goal is self-driving vehicles, which may be closer to reality than you think. If implemented, there'd be no revenue for the driver, since there would be no driver.

Some of the other arguments from taxi companies against Uber don't even have to do with the company.

For example, the city of Bend changed an ordinance that had to do with background checks for drivers -- they put the onus on the private sector. Now, companies have to conduct their own background checks on drivers.

The cab company owner thinks his competitors will use this to their advantage to potentially hire felons.

"A good driver is hard to come by," Mahaney said. "Very hard. And if you have a great driver, you're going to take advantage of that. You don't want someone that has accidents. You want someone that is very competent in driving."

The city of Bend will be checking once a year to make sure background checks are done.

In addition to that, Uber critics say, consumers won't be saving much by switching. For example, Uber has increased rates for busier hours.

"Cab companies don't do that," Mahaney said. "We stay at the same price, whether we're getting a volume of 60 calls a day or 300."

We'll know whether or not consumers care about that as the dust settles over the next few months.


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