Lyft supporters gather at a City Hall rally in February.
Lyft supporters gather at a City Hall rally in February.

Seattle’s ride-sharing controversy just took an unexpected turn.

A coalition group has collected enough signatures to suspend a newly-passed ordinance regulating companies like UberX and Lyft, and now Mayor Ed Murray wants to work with all stakeholders to reach a new agreement.

The group, which received more than $400,000 in donations from Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, submitted more than 36,000 signatures today to the City Clerk’s office, more than double what was required (16,510).

The City of Seattle has a referendum process in place for situations like this, and if citizens can gather enough signatures — eight percent of the total number of votes cast for mayor in the last mayoral election (206,377) — newly-approved ordinances will be put on hold and then voted on by Seattle residents.

uberxCity officials confirmed to GeekWire this afternoon that the ordinance, which would have gone into effect later this month, has been suspended. The signatures still need to be certified, but that isn’t expected to be an issue. That means everything that the City Council agreed upon back in March — including the 150 cap on active vehicles per company, safety regulations, insurance requirements, etc. — is all put on hold. The ordinance also called for 200 taxi licenses to be added by 2015, which would have been Seattle’s first addition of licenses in 23 years.

This effectively puts everything back to square one. The app-based transportation companies like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar — which allow everyday drivers to shuttle people around town — will be operating in Seattle unregulated and, as the city previously said, illegally.

In a statement, Mayor Murray noted that these companies, the taxis and the for-hire companies “have all agreed to enter into a 45-day negotiation process to work toward a proposal that is acceptable to all the stakeholders and to City Council.”

UberX supporters wave posters during a City Council meeting in March.
UberX supporters wave posters during a City Council meeting in March.

“During this good-faith negotiations process, my office will work with the Department of Finance and Administrative Services to develop the enforcement protocols that the City will ultimately implement,” Murray said.

If a compromise is reached during the negotiation process, the City Council could repeal the ordinance and then work together on a new set of regulations. If that happens, the referendum would not appear on a ballot later this year.

There were questions about how the city defined this particular ordinance — either legislative or administrative. As detailed here, it’s an important distinction: Washington does not allow people to petition ordinances that are administrative in nature. But it appears that, based on the Mayor’s 45-day plan and city officials confirming that the ordinance is suspended, this is not an issue.

Both UberX and Lyft voiced disdain for the City Council’s decision in March and vowed to fight Seattle’s leaders for their right to operate with a limit in the city.

“I think the short answer is that the rules are designed to incapacitate Uber and make it unusable,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said last month.

Now, though, it looks like these startups will have a chance to either increase that 150-cap on active drivers, or completely remove it, as some City Councilmembers wanted.

A number of questions still remain. How will the Mayor conduct the negotiation process? Who will be involved? What will change?

We’ll update this story as we learn more.

Comments

  • Guest

    Outstanding! Although the nine men of City Council don’t know what we as consumers want, I’m glad that we citizens have been able to set the city right.

    This is truly fantastic news. Thank you to the citizens of our city.

    • zac cohn

      The council has at least three women on it, I think maybe four.

      • Taylor Soper

        Four. BTW, here’s breakdown of who wanted what in March:

        Sally Bagshaw, Tim Rasmussen and Tim Burgess wanted no caps.

        Sally Clark, Bruce Harrell, Mike O’Brien, Kshama Savant and Jean Godden and Nick Licata wanted caps.

    • ClaimsAdjuster

      No, “the citizens” have not “set the city straight”. What has happened is that Lyft and Uber spent $400K to gather 36,000 signatures to maybe put a referendum on the ballot. It is unlikely that there will even be a vote because the city attorney will probably get a court ruling that the referendum is invalid. If the referendum gets past that hurdle, then it will be voted down because the voters of Seattle do not support Wall St trying to buy legislation to avoid taxes, insurance and licensing. It is at that point that the people of Seattle will set Lyft and Uber straight.

      • Guest

        This is lesson #5. You will request at least 45 more, all within the scope of this page.

        A referendum will occur because more than twice the requisite number of voters have requested it. That a profit-making company is behind is irrelevant. Costco, for instance, largely bankrolled a referendum that led to an initiative that led to us being able to buy hard liquor in supermarkets. This is a good thing, just as TNCs’ existence is a good thing.

        This concludes lesson #5. Be well, Karen.

        • ClaimsAdjuster

          The liquor privatization intitiative does not help your case, a-hole.. Costco spent $27 million on two different initiatives over a four year period to buy their special interest legislation. And after all the free market rhetoric about how increased competition would bring down prices – just the opposite happened. Booze now cost more.

          • Your Instructor

            This is lesson #15. You will request at least 35 more.

            We didn’t say that booze would cost less, only that it would be more readily available, and that this is a good thing. Likewise it is not necessary for TNCs to cost less than a taxi — in fact, Uber often costs more than a taxi — but the increased availability benefits both customers, who can get where they’re going at all times, and drivers, who earn more money when they charge higher rates.

            This concludes lesson #15. Be well, Karen.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            “We didn’t say that booze would cost less…”

            Liar.

      • masher

        You just can’t stand the idea of people being able to work.

    • masher

      If Uber hired illegals to drive then it would be ok, they get amnesty. We just can’t stand the idea of American native born citizens finding work.

  • ClaimsAdjuster

    Goldman-Sachs, Jeff Bezos and the Lyft/Sidecar VC backers really want to avoid regulation of any kind. That is why they are shelling $400K to gather signatures. They are paying $3 per signature, two to three times the going rate, to put this referendum on the ballot.

    While the TNCs yap about the cap, their real agenda is to avoid the insurance regulation. That is what is going to cost the TNC drivers major money,.

    However the law just passed by the City Council on TNC regulation cannot be overturned by a referendum. That is because for-hire vehicle regulation is an adminstrative power specifically o local jurisdictions by the state under RCW 46.72.001. According to an opinion by the City Attorney in the waterfront tunnel referendum:

    “Two well-established limits by the courts include (1) the rule that the local government “referendum power extends only to matters legislative in character and not to merely administrative acts.”

    What is the difference between legislative and administrative?

    According to this Washington State Initiative and Referendum Guide:

    “This of course raises the question of what is an administrative action and what is a legislative action. The courts have applied two tests in making this determination. First, actions relating to subjects of a permanent and general character are usually regarded as legislative matters, and actions taken on subjects of a temporary and special character are usually regarded as administrative matters. Second, the power to be exercised is legislative in nature if it prescribes a new policy or plan,whereas it is administrative in its nature if it merely pursues a plan already adopted by the legislative body or some power superior to it.”

    For-Hire laws have of course been part of RCW and SMC for decades. The City Council just passed revisions to the existing SMC. Furthermore, the TNC regs are a temporary pilot program and therefore administrative..

    • Your Instructor

      This is lesson #1. You will request at least 49 more over the next few months, all within the scope of this thread.

      You will be addressed as Karen during your lessons. If you prefer an alternate form of address, you may request one at any time.

      TNCs are legal in Seattle. We know this because no TNC has been prosecuted, no TNC is being prosecuted, and no TNC will be prosecuted during your lessons. You may question this by citing court records, not arbitrary alphanumeric strings.

      TNCs are safe in Seattle. We know this because no one has been harmed physically or emotionally by an agent of a TNC, no one is being so harmed, and no one will be so harmed during our lessons. You may question this by citing records of incidents within Seattle. Please note that San Francisco is not treated as part of Seattle.

      TNCs have no substantial impact on insurance rates. You may question this by citing written evidence of one driver’s insurance rates rising because of a TNC being permitted to operate in Seattle. The driver may not be a TNC agent.

      This concludes lesson #1. Be well, Karen.

      • ClaimsAdjuster

        You will be addressed as “A-hole.” If you If you prefer an alternate form of address, you may request one at any time.

        A-Hole, you are off-topic. Your response did not address my post as all.

        • Your Instructor

          This is lesson #2. You will request at least 48 more over the next few months, all within the scope of this thread. Please allow enough time for lessons to be prepared; there may be a delay due to the Easter holiday.

          Laws are often referred to using abbreviations such as “RCW 46.72.001″ and “RCW 28A.300.285.” These look official, but they are devoid of meaning until a court has established their applicability to a particular case.

          A “court,” for the purposes of this discussion, is a judicial entity presided over by a judge or justice. A “case” involves two parties. No “cases” involving any TNC have been proved in any “court,” thus making the “laws” unenforced upon these entities.

          This concludes lesson #2. Be well, Karen.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            A-Hole” “Laws are often referred to using abbreviations such as “RCW 46.72.001″ and “RCW 28A.300.285.” These look official, but they are devoid of meaning until a court has established their applicability to a particular case.”

            That is a unique legal theory, A-Hole. It is mere assertion on your part, not backed up by anything at all.

          • Guest

            This is lesson #4. You will request at least 46 more over the next few months.

            The notion of “settled law” is new to many observers. When a law is passed, it may still be subject to judiciary tests to confirm its validity. We have not yet witnessed a test of the laws that TNCs have allegedly violated.

            This concludes lesson #4. Be well, Karen.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            The for hire laws have been part of the RCW and SMC for decades, A-hole. There have been many tickets written and fines paid by cab drivers without valid for hire licenses over the years. A TNC driver without a for-hire license ticketed under these laws do not have a defense.

          • Your Instructor

            This is lesson #7. You will request at least 43 more over the next few months, all within the scope of this thread.

            Using the word “many” implies that at least one TNC driver has been issued a ticket for having driven a car for hire in violation of the law. For an argument against TNCs to hold water, you will need to show that:

            1. At least one TNC driver has been issued a ticket in violating some part of RCW or SMC.

            2. That ticket has been upheld after a court hearing.

            This concludes lesson #7. Be well, Karen.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            a-hole: “Using the word “many” implies that at least one TNC driver has been issued a ticket for having driven a car for hire in violation of the law.”

            Since the actual quote was “There have been many tickets written and fines paid by cab drivers without valid for hire licenses over the years”, it doesn’t “imply” anything about TNC drivers. But you are correct that TNCs are cabs.

          • Your Instructor

            This is lesson #14. You will request at least 36 more.

            Using the word “many” implies that at least one driver of a vehicle for hire has been issued a ticket for violation of the law. You will need to provide a source for that assertion. Please name one driver who has been cited, and the citation upheld with an enforced fine or jail term, as a result of existing legislation.

            This concludes lesson #14. Be well, Karen.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            And why do I “need to provide a source for that assertion”? To convince you? You are the one who is making the dubious claim without any backup whatsoever that a law that has been on the books for decades is somehow not legal.

            Until you substantiate your claims, you are in no position to demand proof.

          • masher

            Why? Why is it the government’s job to stop people from working?
            Does the US government import foreign labor? Yes it does. Does it then restrict who can have jobs? Yes it does. And then people like YOU complain about unemplpyment.

      • Vroo (Bruce Leban)

        Bullying and hazing are legal in Seattle since there have been no arrests for bullying or hazing. We know this because we haven’t bothered to read the laws RCW 28A.300.285 and RCW 28B.10.901 and laws don’t apply to us if we don’t know about them or choose to ignore them.

        Bullying and hazing are safe in Seattle because we know of no one that was harmed by these activities. Admittedly, we haven’t bothered to check the police logs but we’re sure we would have heard of it if someone had been harmed.

      • ClaimsAdjuster

        A-hole, apparently Mayor Murray is not buying your creative legal theories. “Murray said he’ll issue a cease-and-desist to stop companies like UberX and Lyft from operating illegally in the city without regulation.”

        • Guest

          This is lesson #8. You will request at least 42 more over the next few months, all within the scope of this thread.

          A cease-and-desist order is merely a request. If you’ll read the article you cite, TNCs have historically disregarded such requests since they have minimal legal merit. We continue to maintain that TNCs must be tested by a court, not by a mayor threatening to issue a letter of little import.

          This concludes lesson #8. Be well, Karen.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            @a-hole, sorry, a C&D issued by a court is not a “request.” It is legally binding. The Mayor would request that the City Attorney get a C&D against Uber, Lyft and Sidecar.

            The circumstances in California and Seattle are different. The Seattle City Council just spent a year deliberating on TNC/For Hire regulation before passing the new law. The C&Ds issued by SF and LA were done before the California PUC put into place its TNC regulations.

          • Guest

            This is lesson #11. You will request at least 39 more.

            No cease and desist orders have actually been requested. This is merely a stall tactic by the mayor while he negotiates a better arrangement with the TNCs. No one is seriously proposing shutting any TNC down or fining them for providing a needed service.

            This concludes lesson #11. Be well, Karen.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            @a-hole, the TNCs are not going to “negotiate a better arrangement”. The TNCs have nothing to offer the taxi industry or the City Council. If the Mayor does not follow through with the C&D, he will lose the east African vote and the next election.

            In the unlikely event that the referendum gets on the ballot, it would lose. The 93,000 city residents that voted in Kshama Sawant are not going to let Goldman-Sachs write their own special interest legislation.

          • Your Instructor

            This is lesson #13. You will request at least 37 more.

            The TNCs have an excellent bargaining position at the current time: they have literally millions of customer and venture capital dollars at a time when Seattle logistics planners are literally bashing their tunnel-boring machines against a wall. Presenting a win-win solution is easy peasy.

            Seattle’s “east African vote” is negligible. The total ethnically African-American population in Seattle is 47,541. Of this, a small portion represents recent immigrants, and of this a smaller portion represents those who are registered to vote, and of this a smaller portion yet represents recent immigrants who have yet to change from the driver-hostile TNCs like Yellow Cab to the driver- and passenger-friendly TNCs like UberX. We expect that the votes of fewer than 200 persons of this community would actually be affected by this new legislation.

            Furthermore, I think we can safely assume that Kshama Sawant has ended her political career in Seattle. Following the inevitable defeat of both of her signature issues, “anti-TNC legislation” and “arbitrary 60% minimum wage hike,” we expect that Ms. Sawant will move to Canada, where she will establish herself as the most successful Democracy Now! podcast host in history, getting as many as 9,300 subscribers in the first year.

            This concludes lesson #13. Be well, Karen.

        • masher

          I’m sure he will because he can’t stand the idea of people getting work.

    • masher

      Look at all the illlegals in Seattle. Somehow the mayor is ok with that.

    • http://www.hostelhiker.com/ Paul Cianciolo

      You are correct that it is all about insurance. Here’s the difference: I pay $80/month for personal insurance on a vehicle that I sometimes “drive” for a “rideshare” company. I pay $300/month for my minivan owned by the legal transportation company that I own, which requires $1.5m liability coverage. That is a huge difference!

      • ClaimsAdjuster

        It would be $475/mo for TNC commercial insurance in the Seattle area.

    • Fikir Jesus
  • Viet Nguyen

    Interesting. $400k to get 36,000 signatures or a little over $3 per signature? My signature is worth $3! I am wondering if I could stand on the street corner and sign stuff for that amount. Footballs. T-shirts. Body parts.

    • ClaimsAdjuster

      Actually it is about $11 per signature. The signature gatherers got $3 per signature plus room and board. Then there is the advertising and the high priced lawyers and political consultants.

      • Ryan Burt

        yes, votes cost $$$. what’s new? doesn’t change the fact the people have spoken.

        • ClaimsAdjuster

          No, “the people” have not spoken. What has happened is that Lyft and Uber spent $400K to gather 36,000 signatures to maybe put a referendum on the ballot. It is unlikely that there will even be a vote because the city attorney will probably get a court ruling that the referendum is invalid. If the referendum gets past that hurdle, then it will be voted down because the voters of Seattle do not support Wall St trying to buy legislation to avoid taxes, insurance and licensing.

          • Guest

            Flagged as a dupe.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            You didn’t try to refute what I say because you can’t, uber troll.

    • masher

      I’m sure they will make that illegal too. Only licensed signing will be allowed. That seems to be what this is all about.

  • Guest

    If the city is really going to get input from “all stakeholders,” they need to make sure to get input from pedestrians and other drivers, who might be in an accident with an uninsured for-hire vehicle. As noted many times on GeekWire, Uber has claimed in a California case that they have no responsibility at all in the death of a young girl who was killed by one of their drivers.

    The city also needs to get input from both drivers and passengers of the legal for-hire vehicles in town.

    And, the city needs to get input from the insurance companies on which these companies and their drivers are committing insurance fraud.

    And, they might want to go chat with the folks at SeaTac about illegal pickups that are occurring there.

    If it were me, I’d tell them all to pack up and go back to California.

    • Mike

      Most people don’t realize that SeaTac has regulations on which services are allowed to pickup people at the pick-up area and parking garages.

      I’d also be interested how many of these ‘ride share’ drivers are following King County rules. http://www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/Licensing/TaxiLicensing.aspx

      I still find it interesting that they refer to themselves as ‘ride share’ when you don’t share anything, you hire somebody to drive you.

    • masher

      The Taxis drivers are by far the worst and most irresponsible drivers.

  • Taxicab Drivers Bc

    MONEY MAKES THE MAYOR GO!
    Where free taxi from authority has market value then it is not different than Seattle. To bring change or stop it depends who pay more!

  • ClaimsAdjuster

    It is not even debatable that what Lyft, UberX and Sidecar are doing is illegal:

    RCW 46.72.010

    “(1) The term “for hire vehicle” includes all vehicles used for the transportation of passengers for compensation,”

    RCW 46.72.020

    “No for hire operator shall cause operation of a for hire vehicle upon any highway of this state without first obtaining a permit from the director of licensing”

    • http://www.zillow.com Steve Brownell

      That doesn’t mean it should be.

      • Kary

        So we should ignore laws if someone comes up with a smartphone app? I wasn’t aware of the statute cited, but apparently it has criminal penalties! http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=46.72.100

        • masher

          Look at illegal labor! The major ignores all the illegals.

    • Your Instructor

      This is lesson #3. You will request 47 more over the course of the next few months, all within the scope of this page.

      It is not up to us as private citizens to determine whether any TNC has violated RCW 46.72.010 or RCW 46.72.020. Not only has no TNC been charged or punished under these laws, no citizen has even requested that a court investigate a TNC under these laws.

      This concludes lesson #3. Be well, Karen.

      • ClaimsAdjuster

        “… no citizen has even requested that a court investigate a TNC under these laws.”

        How could possibly know that? You are just an A-hole making stuff up out of whole cloth. BTW, it is the police or public officials with police powers who investigate, not a court.

        “Not only has no TNC been charged or punished under these laws..”

        So? That has nothing to do with the issue of legality.

        • Your Instructor

          This is lesson #6. You will request at least 44 more, all within the scope of this page.

          Police records are part of the “public record.” This means that any member of the public may review them. According to these “public records,” no member of the “public” has called a policeman or a public officialman to request that a TNC be investigating for violating any law. If you wish to contradict this point, you will need to query “public records” and find an instance of the aforementioned behavior.

          This concludes lesson 6. Be well, Karen.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            No, a-hole, the burden of proof is on you, You have to back up your claims. You haven’t because you are just making stuff up.

            The Seattle cab inspectors can conduct an undercover sting operation any time they want, They can demand that a TNC driver produce a for-hire license. If he can’t thgey can write him a $1,000 ticket.

          • Your Instructor

            This is lesson #9. You will request at least 41 more, all within the scope of this thread.

            A so-called “cab inspector” can request that a TNC driver pay him $1,000. This does not mean that the TNC driver owes that fine. We have found that Seattle has declined to prosecute or even investigate taxis. The only “cab inspectors” are the men who, on Internet, cite laws without the authority to enforce them. We will pay attention to such laws once a “cab inspector” actually inspects a TNC, starting a process that will necessarily involve the courts.

            This concludes lesson #9. Be well, Karen.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            @a-hole, in a manner of speaking the ticket is a “request”. It is soon followed by an “invitation” (i.e. summons) to “you” (i.e. the driver) by the Seattle Municipal Court. However, unlike most invitations, the “host” (i.e. judge) gets very grumpy if you don’t appear at his “social gathering” ( i.e. court) and issues a “default judgement” demanding payment of $1,000. This is a party you don’t want to miss!

            If you do show up at the soiree, you can then tell your “host” (i.e. judge) how taxi drivers are never invited to his “parties” (i.e. court). You can even tell him that it is very rude for him to him to be dragging you to his parties (i.e. court).

            But keep in mind that your “host” (i.e. judge) is easily offended and could give you a $1,000 “party favor” (i.e. fine).

          • Your Instructor

            This is lesson #10. You will request 40 more, all within the course of this thread.

            No tickets, violations, summonses, or other instruments of law enforcement have been issued against a TNC. Absent any action from the hollow “cease and desist” threat that a mayor has speculated about, we can safely assume that TNCs will not be prosecuted.

            This concludes lesson #10. Be well, Karen.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            @a-hole, you have said nothing at all. You cannot “safely assume” that TNC drivers will not be not be prosecuted. The laws have been on the books for decades and many individuals who broke these laws have already paid fines for civil infractions. When the city cab inspectors are unleashed, they will just have to write a few tickets to shut down the TNCs by nailing their drivers.

          • Your Instructor

            This is lesson #12. You will request at least 38 more.

            To make your arguments more sound, we would prefer to see evidence. You will need to tell us how many TNC drivers (beyond “many”) have been prosecuted and defeated by current legislation. Have the numbers increased as TNCs have increased in popularity? What financial disincentives have TNCs faced by these “fines for civil infractions,” and to what extent have TNC drivers changed their behavior as a result of these incidents?

            Your responses will help change the course of local history.

            This concludes lesson #12. Be well, Karen.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            A-hole: “To make your arguments more sound, we would prefer to see evidence.”

            You should take your own advice and backup your claims.

    • masher

      But why is this illegal at all?! Shouldn’t people be able to work?!

  • CuriousOffice

    Like I’ve always been saying here. When you build a service that has such overwhelming consumer demand, then ultimately that service will win out. Keep watching this space. Hopefully taxi companies scramble to provide a service quality that comes close to these that garnered so much support.

    • Cliff Rudolph

      Completely agree

    • ClaimsAdjuster

      Heroin has overwhelming consumer demand among a certain segement of the population as well. So what?

      • CuriousOffice

        Heroin? Karen. Might want to sit this one out. Take five.

        • ClaimsAdjuster

          Karen? Who is Karen, A-Hole?

      • Kary

        Invent a heroin app, a hooker app and a car stealing app and per some people you’d totally eliminate crime! ;-)

    • Dave McLauchlan

      Actually, I’d bet on the insurance industry to innovate ahead of the taxi industry.

      The policy Uber currently has offers $1MM insurance coverage for passengers and third parties, and the driver is required to cover him/herself with their own personal insurance. So, while I’m riding in an Uber, I’m covered with a $1MM policy, as is any third party injured or impacted by my Uber driver.

      That just leaves the driver. I bet the insurance companies will sense an opportunity here, and soon begin to offer hybrid insurance policies that allow you to have partial commercial insurance, partial personal insurance. Now that would be innovation.

      Even better – how long before Uber partners with an insurer to offer this directly?

      • ClaimsAdjuster

        There is currently one insurance company in the Seattle area that offers TNC vehicles commercial coverage. Since it costs $5,700 per year, the TNC drivers just continue to commit insurance fraud.

        As Assistant San Francisco DA Conrad Del Rosario noted at a recent meeting about yft/UberX/Sidecar’s insurance:

        “Drivers for app-based ride services increasingly commit insurance fraud, a San Francisco assistant district attorney told state regulators on Friday.

        Some drivers for services such as Lyft, UberX and Sidecar lie if they get into an accident and claim they were driving for personal reasons, Conrad Del Rosario told a state Department of Insurance hearing.

        That type of fraud has increased in recent months, he said, as drivers seek someone to pay for repairs when their cars are damaged. The reason: Personal auto insurance doesn’t cover commercial activities, while the ride companies’ $1 million liability policies cover passengers and third parties, but do not cover the drivers and their cars.

        “Personal carriers have absolutely no way to detect this fraud,” Del Rosario said. “They’re completely powerless to know when a person is doing (transportation network company) activity … or conspires with a passenger to say that’s his friend he picked up at a bar.”

        Another type of fraud, which Del Rosario said is extensive, is rate evasion – drivers who buy personal policies, while intending to use their vehicles full time to carry paying passengers.”

        • Dave McLauchlan

          @SnarkArrack:disqus – you’ve missed my point. I’m suggesting that perhaps an enterprising insurance company could create a new category of insurance – a hybrid, that combined part-time commercial coverage and part-time personal coverage. That would solve the fraud issue for drivers who chose to purchase it.

          But once again – I keep asking without getting an answer – what is your proposal for solving this problem in a way that enables the TNCs to keep offering the service that consumers love? I keep hearing “TNCs are bad”, “TNCs are committing fraud” line, etc… but how would you solve this issue given a requirement was to enable healthy competition from all forms of transportation for hire?

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            The main issue for TNC drivers is not that the commercial policy disallows personal use of the vehicle. It is cost. If you think that the insurance companies are going to offer a cheap hybrid policy, you are mistaken. No insurance company will take on the risk of a taxi service without the appropriate premium. The TNC drivers will not properly insure their business unless a regulatory agency makes them. Ditto for licenses and taxes.

            TNCs cutting corners on insurance and licensing and flooding the streets with thousands of vehicles while offering their dispatch service at a loss is not the basis of “healthy competition”.

          • Dave McLauchlan

            @SnarkArrack:disqus- but what if the regulations made sure that TNC drivers had appropriate but not excessive insurance? They don’t need taxi grade insurance in most cases, since they’re not driving that kind of mileage, but I agree they need something more than personal auto coverage.

            So… let’s throw out all assumptions here – don’t assume what the TNCs or TNC drivers would or wouldn’t pay for.

            Again, I ask – what would you suggest the regulatory landscape look like to solve this problem for BOTH taxi companies and TNCs?

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            Last year the TNC annual premium was $4,700 for commercial liability and UIM . This year it has gone up $1,000 because of risk history, i.e., accidents. And that is among the small subset of TNC drivers who are responsible enough to shell out the extra money to get commercial insurance.

            There are many full time TNC drivers. Their risk profile is the same as a taxi owner/driver who doesn’t lease out his cab. The TNC $5,700 premium is a relative bargain compared with what a taxi owner/driver would pay. A clean MVR would get that taxi driver at least $5,850 per year. A few tickets would cost at least $6.500.

          • Dave McLauchlan

            @SnarkArrack:disqus – you are exasperating to try and have a reasoned discussion with. Please. Answer. The. Question.

            What is your suggestion to accommodate the needs of both TNCs and taxis?

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            You keep throwing out loaded statements about “appropriate but not excessive insurance” or that TNCs “don’t need taxi grade insurance”.Don’t expect me to leave these claims unanswered.

            I have made it pretty clear that I support the City Council’s regulations. They spent a year formulating them while allowing the TNCs to operate illegally. It is now time to get on with it.

        • masher

          San Francisco like Seatle are cities that ignore illegals working here. But when Americans try to find work…well that’s illegal.

    • masher

      Taxis have a government enforced market restriction on competition.
      There is no need for cabs to innovate. Cab drivers drive like maniacs up here Lake City. The taxis are a hazzard. They reduce quality of life in Seattle but the Major wants to keep that staus quo. He can’t stand the idea of people finding work.

  • masher

    The mayor can’t stand the idea of people finding work unless they are illegals and then its ok. He won’t do a thing about all the illegals working in Seattle but he will go after Americans trying to find work. Nice.

  • dld

    Only in Seattle can for hire, for profit transportation be called “ride sharing.” People don’t drive other people around for altruistic reasons, at the very minimum, it is to supplement their income. Call it what it is, make everyone who participates play by the same rules (the fewer the better). Unfortunately, there will be a day when a “ride share” proponent is suing the city for damages because the city didn’t do enough to regulate the “ride share” companies.

  • http://www.hostelhiker.com/ Paul Cianciolo

    People using “ridesharing” services need to understand the part of the service that they really like, which is the app-based hail of a car at a low cost with no cash exchange. I love this part and so does everyone else! But this part of the service can be done within the current laws. These companies didn’t need to start by breaking laws, but because they have enough money to do so, they are able to overwhelm enforcement of the current laws.

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