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It is time that we bring ride-sharing options, like Lyft/Uber, to the entire state of Oregon. I drive for Lyft and Uber and find that it’s really nice to be able to supplement my income on my own schedule. I like helping people get around town to make it go their medical appointments, provide a solution when someone’s car is broken down or when the bus schedule doesn’t work with life’s schedule, and help people get home safely if they’ve had one too many.

Currently only six cities have ride sharing and a bill in the Legislature would change that. Representative Susan McLain introduced HB 3023 that would bring the benefits of ride sharing to all of Oregon including flexible earning opportunities for drivers, reduced impaired driving, and increased business to local restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. I think it would also allow more people an opportunity to increase their income enough to reduce the need for some state assistance programs, such as TANF; it could also provide those on assistance a way to obtain a job if they had reliable transportation.

It’s time we establish statewide rules and safety standards, so all Oregon communities can enjoy the benefits of ride sharing, not just in a few cities. Just as a vast majority of other states have already, a statewide regulatory structure for ride sharing creates consistent safety standards for driver background checks, vehicle standards and safety inspections and comprehensive insurance standards.

Traci Hunter

Albany (March 10)

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