Councilmember Mike O'Brien speaks at Monday's City Council meeting.
Councilmember Mike O’Brien speaks at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Seattle’s decision to limit the number of vehicles that UberX, Lyft and Sidecar can have on its roads set off a firestorm on comment boards and social media throughout Monday and into Tuesday.

Much of the reaction was largely negative, with many hoping that Seattle’s city leaders would allow the transportation network companies (TNCs) to operate freely in the city instead of limiting supply.

Others applauded the City Council for regulating the companies and enforcing rules that other transportation services like taxis are expected to follow. Here are a few comments from our stories posted on Monday:

From “Just Aguy”:

“The strong arm tactics, the “my way or the highway” approach, lack of transparency, obfuscation and dissembling that Uber has repeatedly engaged in, have become less effective over time. Regulators/lawmakers have become wise to all this and aren’t going to fooled and railroaded anymore!

From “ClaimsAdjuster”:

The Seattle City Council leads the way on regulating TNCS. UberX and Lyft only announced their expansion of their insurance to cover their vehicles from log in to sign out last Friday only because of the upcoming City Council vote. The San Francisco Board Of Supervisors are now looking a the Seattle approach to control the free-for-all in their downtown from 4,000 TNCs flooding their streets.

So, what do you think? Is the City Council’s decision beneficial for Seattle’s citizens? Or is the city wrong for limiting innovation and supply?

Related coverage:

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • wwbaker3

    Either lessen taxi regulations OR make uberX/Lyft/TNC play by the same rules. Make it fair and let consumers decide base on customer service and other factors. Overall, the competition from uberX/Lyft/TNC have made taxis slightly better, so that’s a good.That said, this is Affirmative Action by the city to protect immigrant/minority taxi drivers’ livelihood, as well as to protect the investment the city has made in the taxi industry over the years.

  • Chris

    Awaiting comments from anonymous taxi industry supporters to chime in bashing ride share services. Our city council is going to look really silly for doing this in a few years.

    • elbowman

      I’m not anonymous, but I am a supporter of the law, and legal competition in a marketplace. If you’re going to be a taxi company play by the current rules for taxi companies. Don’t lie about what you are, or skirt the rules, or completely ignore the requirements.

      The City Council may look silly in a few years. But, not for making sure these companies play fair.

    • Chris

      Above comment bashing anonymous posts courtesy of an anonymous poster. My name isn’t Chris either.

  • RegulatingCraze

    Atlas Shrugged comes to mind.

  • gglockner

    Either regulate the ride sharing systems like taxicabs, or give them free reign. Half-regulation makes no sense to me. It sounds like being half-pregnant.

  • elbowman

    Like this poll on a website by and for techno geeks (like me) is going to present a fair sample of opinion! Really? Come on.

    Most people coming here think there should be no rules for any technology based company. They don’t care about legal, or fair, or safe.

    • shoulderwoman

      They also apparently care a lot about brute protectionism as well. I understand the need to ensure safety, but you can’t deny that a strong element behind the Council’s decision was sheer protectionism of taxis. Here is a direct quote from one of the council members via the liveblog provided by Geekwire: ““This is a wake-up call for taxi industry. It has to change in order to thrive. Now you have time to do that.”

      To me, this reads as “here’s your grand bailout, taxis. we can’t shield you from better services forever, but here is your temporary forcefield”

  • Communism does NOT work

    Time to break Seattle into two cities… The communists and their cohorts east of I5 and south, and the realists who understands what reality is downtown and to the north.

  • I’mRunningForCouncilNextTerm

    Since I’m fancy, I’ll just keep using Uber and pay a little more. Towncars and their drivers are better than crappy taxis and grumpy cabbies any day anyway.

  • Red Russak

    This is less about the regulation and more about how city council continues to fail representing the tech/startup/innovation sector. Ugh. Why does Seattle have to be so difficult?!?! #FAIL

  • SeattleBooster

    Uber is the first thing that has reliably reduced car use in our family. Isn’t that a very high priority?? Making it harder to get an uber ride at peak times will increase our carbon footprint and congestion in the city. Really dumb move.

  • Danielle Huston

    I’m still on the fence. On one hand, the competition is needed and the innovation is exciting. On the other . . . what happens to the consumer who is in an accident with one of these services or assualted by someone who hasn’t been through a background check? I only see that innovation lasting so long when a litigation-happy society all of a sudden realizes there is no one to take damages from. Isn’t there a way to balance innovation with regulations?

  • boop

    While I think Lyft is generally a good idea, I will never use it because you have to have a legitimate Facebook account apparently. Whassup wid that?

  • Aps

    In April I went to Seattle. I took a ride in both a taxi an a Lyft car. The Lyft driver was friendly, did a great job driving and the car was immaculate. The taxis driver was on his phone the entire time and had only one hand on the wheel. The cab stunk of BO. I will take Lyft over a taxi anytime. If taxis want to continue to be relevant, clean up your act.

Job Listings on GeekWork