Uber Meets Portlandia

Everyone knows that Portland has its own unique rhythm. While we didn’t coin the famous bumper sticker about weirdness, we seem to have adopted it better. Somehow, we own it.

Portlandia is no stranger to innovation. We love technology. We challenge the world around us to find new ways to tackle outdated thinking – whether it be powering our homes or getting ourselves to work.

We’ve proudly embraced the hip new sharing economy. In the last few years alone, we have cheered the arrival of companies like car2go and opened our doors to a growing sector of creative start-ups pushing collaborative consumption.

But change doesn’t often come easy to a city that prides itself on pushing others to, well, change. Even as we celebrate our ethos of reinventing how the world should look at old problems, we still struggle with change ourselves. And nothing seems to capture this tension better than the recent arrival of the innovative ridesharing platform, Uber.

Having successfully started service in surrounding suburbs, Portland area commuters have been eager for access to Uber’s transformative approach to ridesharing. But Portlandia is its own beast. Even with more than 200 successful markets operating around the world, Uber knew it needed help navigating the complex political culture of Portland.

Since last year, Quinn Thomas has supported Uber throughout a collaborative process of working with city leaders to integrate emerging transportation network services into Portland’s city code. In addition to supporting in-market media relations, Quinn Thomas is brokering conversations between Uber and stakeholders across the regional transportation ecosystem, including conversations with minority groups and disabilities rights advocates.

What has been fascinating for us to watch is how many people recognize that the time has come for change. Even if that change needed to be pushed.

Like many of you, we’re excited about Uber’s arrival in Portland. Yes, they are our clients. But like the 12,000 local supporters who have called for city officials to update our outdated regulations, we are simply unabashed fans of the platform and what it represents – better, safer, more reliable, and more equitable transportation options.

No matter how unique its rhythms, Portland knows when socioeconomic forces are on to something good. Our great city of change, innovation, and creative thinking is ready. To address the right problem, it’s even willing to let change occasionally come from outside its walls.

We encourage you to join the conversation and the more than 12,000 citizens who have pledged their support for Uber in Portland.