World famous rapper Macklemore joins the fight to save UberX in Seattle

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Macklemore, here performing at a private AT&T concert in Las Vegas for CES, supports Uber.

Seattle is on the verge of capping the number of total UberX, Lyft and Sidecar drivers in the city to 300 and one Grammy Award-winning musician from the Emerald City isn’t too happy about that.

Macklemore, a Seattle native and world famous rapper, used his social media accounts on Tuesday to voice his opinion on the regulations proposed by the Seattle City Council’s Committee for Taxi, For-hire, and Limousine Regulations.

The committee will vote Thursday on an ordinance that limits the total number of Lyft, Sidecar and UberX drivers to 300 (Uber’s other offerings, UberBlack and UberSUV, won’t be affected). These startups say that the cap will effectively shut down their operations in Seattle.

Macklemore seems to agree and isn’t a big fan of the city’s idea. He used both his Twitter and Facebook accounts to encourage people to sign a petition in favor of allowing services like UberX to operate without a driver limit Seattle.

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An Uber spokesperson tells us that the company did not pay Macklemore to promote its service, so it seems as though the rapper actually cares about keeping UberX alive in Seattle.

uberxMacklemore has 2.23 million followers on Twitter, and another 4.11 million likes on his Facebook page, so whatever content he shares is seen by many.

debate has been raging in the city in recent weeks over whether the new breed of companies like UberX and Lyft — which allow customers to request a ride via a smartphone and automatically pay for fares without using cash — should be able to operate in the city.

Many, including those in the tech industry, argue that these companies offer a more innovative and convenient alternative to traditional taxi cabs, and that the city should not regulate them. Others, especially those in the taxi and for-hire industry, say that the new services should be regulated or curtailed, and that they should not get a free pass on regulations simply because they utilize new methods for attracting riders.

We’ll be at City Hall on Thursday to find out how the committee votes. See all of our coverage on this issue here.

  • Idontthinkso

    Too bad he (and everyone else for that matter) doesn’t throw his weight toward fixing the draconian budget cuts METRO is facing.

  • ClaimsAdjuster

    That settles it. The Seattle City Council should stop worrying about UberX dumping uninsured cars on the street. They should just listen to Macklemore, who has lots of experience with legal and insurance matters.

  • ClaimsAdjuster

    Actually the Reuters article quoted Seattle City Councilor Sally Clark who said:
    “Insurance is way complicated, and it’s far more complicated than a company telling you, ‘Don’t worry, you’re insured,’” said Sally Clark, a city commissioner in Seattle. The city council is currently weighing insurance requirements and other rules for ridesharing, which operates in a legal limbo in Seattle. Insurance, Clark said, is “our number one concern.”

    Taxi services like UberX/Lyft/Sidecar are required to carry commercial insurance no matter where there are in the country. The issues in the KQED article are the same in Washington as they are in California.

  • pitbullstew

    Sounds like the TNC’s lack of transparnecy didnt work out quite the way they thought it should when you listen to councilman obriens remarks to the uber zone manager.
    and besides, personal insurance is not commercial for hire livery insurance and ne’er the tween shall meet. there is no insurance carrier who is likely to offer a siamese like policy that switches off and on as personal then commercial cause uber and lyft’s indie drivers found it convenient to avail themselves of.
    very naive or just plain stupid to have ever thought that the city was not going to notice

  • laughtiger

    Way to be a corporate lackey, Macklemore.