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Elite no longer a taxi company due to Uber requests

December 27, 2018

Elite Taxi has dropped the taxi portion of its business, instead choosing to focus on contract transportation, primarily for medical deliveries.

Owner Joseph Buonauro said the new model is simpler and won’t be in direct competition with Uber or other ride-hailing companies if and when they come to Roseburg.

“Everything we do is by contract. If you were to call us, we would direct you to Sunshine,” Buonauro said. “People wanted Uber to come to Roseburg. Uber’s going to come, there’s no stopping it. If you want Uber, call them.”

In August, the City of Roseburg passed an ordinance that laid out the rules for Uber and would allow it to operate, as well as Lyft and other ride-hailing services. As of this week, both companies have balked at the rules instituted by Roseburg city officials. Lyft opposes the separate background check, and Uber wants the city to be included in either Eugene or Medford’s service area.

City Council members said in November they would try again to convince Uber and Lyft to come to Roseburg.

Uber briefly provided service in town in February, but stopped offering rides after the city threatened to fine the company up to $1,500 a day for failing to follow the city’s then-existing ordinances.

“Nobody’s signing up for (Uber),” Buonauro said. “That’s the bottom line. I’m sad it had to come to what it did. It is something the city is going to miss because Sunshine by itself, before, wasn’t sufficient to handle the amount of traffic that was needed for taxis, and they are the only ones you can call right now.”

Buonauro bought Elite Taxi in 2011. The company has been handling contracts for medical deliveries for about five years.

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