On The Go Outtake: The Last Previa Taxi? – So This Is Better Than Uber?

I’ve been posting shots of Eugene’s Previa taxis for way too long. And the last couple of times, I assumed they were the last one, as these are now between 20 and 25 years old (1991-1997). But there’s still one (or possibly two) at it, and I’ll keep shooting them until they’re truly gone.

And why are these ancient vans still at it? Because our city council chased Uber out of town two years ago, giving the taxis have their monopoly again. Why bother replacing a quarter-century old taxi, even if it is the most durable minivan ever built?

Why did Uber get the boot? Because Eugene wouldn’t let them operate unless they met all the same specific requirement thta the taxi companies have to, including background checks by the police (instead of an independent third-party as Uber uses), and also mechanical inspections. Uber cars are generally no more than a few years old, so they don’t want their drivers to have to do that. The key is that Uber drivers get rated by their customers, so no Uber driver would ever drive a 20+ year old van like this Previa.  Uber requires that their drivers’ cars be no more than 10 years old (2008).

Having ridden in one of the Previas to the airport a couple years ago, their interiors are definitely showing their age some. The fact that the Previas pass the mechanical inspection probably says as much or more about the Previas than the rigorousness of the inspections, but there’s no denying that riding in one is now a vintage experience.

Recently the Eugene city council decided to revisit the rules for ride-hailing services like Uber, undoubtedly because there’s been a lot of vocal unhappy former Uber users forced to ride in ancient Previas.

And what are the Previas being replaced with? Gen1 Siennas, which are a mere 15-20 years old.