Uber launches in Portland without city approval

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The ride-sharing app Uber has launched in Portland without city approval.

Regional manager Brooke Stever says the app began working Friday at 5 p.m., and drivers were able to immediately begin offering rides.

Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick say the launch was illegal. Under a city code that prohibits unlicensed taxis, Uber drivers face hefty fines if they are caught by code enforcement officers.

Uber offers car service in 250 cities in 50 countries.