We, the members of the Portland Drivers Self Help Association, wish to bring to your attention the issues for the Portland area taxi drivers, and what your support could help us achieve.
Our goal is to form a Cab Cooperative where the drivers can pool their resources to buy health insurance, pay lower dispatch fees, and work reasonable hours as drivers.
This cooperative, because of the lower costs involved to the drivers, would be able to pass on savings to the customers.
In addition, we see the crying need for more hybrid taxis, more wheelchair-accessible taxis, and coverage outside of the Airport areas.
There are five cab companies operating in the City of Portland. Two are large (Radio Cab and Broadway Cab) and the rest are small (Green Cab, Rose City Cab, Portland Cab.) Drivers are mostly owner-operators working as “independent contractors.” With the exception of Radio Cab, which is a coop, the Cab Companies are for-profit.
Most cab drivers in Portland are immigrants from Africa, Asia, and the former USSR. What we have in common are that most of us were well-educated in our home countries. Because we speak English with an accent, most of us will not get the job we trained for in our home countries. We are family-oriented, and are forced to drive taxi to support our families and put our children through higher education. In the main, we are treated as ignorant, and many times our rights are not respected by the Cab Companies. We formed the Portland Drivers Self Help Association to give support to our members in times of illness and death, as we get no benefits through our work at the Cab Companies.
Our goal is to improve the conditions for cab drivers across the area, and make this a livable job.