Uber to Eugene: We’re not a taxi company

Uber is challenging fines imposed by Eugene

A man orders a ride with his Uber app, Sept. 23, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
A man orders a ride with his Uber app, Sept. 23, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Uber has told a Eugene hearings officer it’s not really a taxi company.

Laura Hammond, who handles communication and policy for the city of Eugene, said Uber falls within the public passenger vehicle categories of providing transportation for hire. Because of that, she told KOIN 6 News, Uber must get a public passenger vehicle license.

The Eugene Register-Guard reports the city has fined Uber $64,000, which Uber has challenged.

The California tech company told the hearings officer Tuesday that drivers who use its technology are independent contractors.

It also says it’s not technically operating in Eugene. Instead, Uber says, a wholly-owned subsidiary licenses the technology to the drivers.

The city says the regulations make sure for-hire rides are fairly priced, insured and safe.

Uber says it offers its own driver background checks, vehicle inspections and insurance.

KOIN 6 News contributed to this report.

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