The Seattle City Council committee on taxi, for-hire and limousine regulations is meeting right now to discuss possible elements of a permanent overall regulation reform package and what rules should be made in the interim.
There was some speculation that the Council would shut down these companies as they establish regulations. The city had laid out three different potential options, one of which would suspend operations for the ride-sharing companies.
In response, nearly 12,000 signed an petition on Change.org encouraging the City Council to refrain from shutting down UberX.
But City Council president Sally Clark just said there wouldn’t be any votes on that end today.
Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to legalize ride-sharing, as California became the state to initiate such regulations. Clark told GeekWire that she liked the model California adopted, one that requires ride-sharing startups to enforce company licensing, criminal background checks and a $1 million per-incident insurance coverage.
“I can say that based on the draft I read, they’ve adopted a compelling model,” she said. “For me, it addresses the insurance concerns, as well as concerns about driver background checks and vehicle safety. However, the draft didn’t address the question of whether rideshare drivers should be licensed in some way. That’s an open question here.”
You can watch the meeting below. We’ll be following along and will post anything of importance today, but it looks like Sidecar, Lyft and UberX may continue scooting around Seattle for the time being.