Operators Slap City, Transportation Board With Lawsuit

Posted on February 10, 2004 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

PORTLAND, Ore. – Four operators have filed a lawsuit against the city and its transportation board, claiming that they are restricting competition by setting rates for sedan service. Carey Oregon, Liberty Limousine Service, Cascade Coach TownCar Service and Eagle Towncar believe the Private for Hire Transportation Board of Review has vested interests because several members are affiliated with cab companies.

“We don’t want cab owners or employees of cab companies sitting on this board anymore,” said John Sinibaldi of Carey Oregon.

Sinibaldi added that orders passed by the board tend to favor cab companies. The city imposed a $45 minimum fare for sedan operators carrying passengers between the downtown area and the Portland Airport. In addition, the city also imposed a moratorium on new licenses issued to sedans. Operators who have let their licenses expire without renewing them now must pay a $1,000- per car fee. Sinibaldi noted that many operators can’t afford this and will have to downsize their sedan fleets.

“I’ve never heard of a public entity interfering with private contracts with private parties,” he said. “We feel we have to stop them now, this is just too big of a deal not to.”

Operators also formed a new association, The Oregon Limousine and Livery Association, to oppose the new rules.

Sinibaldi said that operators didn’t necessarily want to go to court but are prepared to. They were hoping to reconstitute the board, and establish separate committees for limousine operators, and cab, paratransit and shuttle companies. Limousine operators are now grouped with the cab committee.
- Alisha Gomez

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