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October 3, 2014

Uber begins ride service in Portland

Uber, a San Francisco-based startup that provides smartphone app-based ride services in around 140 cities, has officially started service in Portland.

The Bangor Daily News reported that the company launched UberX, its lowest-cost service, in the city on Thursday, offering rides that the company says are 17% cheaper on than the average taxi cab fare. UberX drivers use their own cars as taxis.

Uber has received some pushback from the taxi industry in cities like London and Washington, D.C., because the startup in some cases doesn't have to abide by the same regulations as taxi companies. Most recently, the service was banned nationwide in Germany by a court that said the company was providing unfair competition with taxis there. The company has also been criticized for safety concerns regarding Uber drivers, along with how they are compensated.

Jessica Grondin, the city of Portland’s spokeswoman, told the BDN that city officials will begin determining whether Uber’s services fall under the city’s existing taxi regulations.

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