Seattle mayor reaches deal to legalize Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, without driver limits

murray

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announcing the news today. (via Seattle Channel).

It looks like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar are here to stay in Seattle.

After more than one year of City Council meetings, protests and debate, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today announced an agreement between the major industry players, the taxi industry and city officials that will let app-based transportation services such as Lyft, Sidecar and UberX keep operating without any limit on the number of drivers that can be on the street at any given time.

That’s a big change from the original ordinance that was approved by the City Council in March, which set a maximum of 150 active drivers per company — a decision that left the ride-sharing companies unhappy.

“I believe Seattle once again will lead the nation in showing how what appears to be conflicting interests can actually come together,” Murray said after announcing the agreement. “We have deregulated a highly regulated monopoly, allowing taxis and for-hires to become far more competitive than they are in the current situation. We are recognizing that a technology exists that is rapidly changing the marketplace.”

[Related: Seattle's compromise with Uber, Lyft and Sidecar leaves key players mostly happy]

Here are the key components of the agreement, as announced by Murray this afternoon.

  • Transportation Network Companies (Uber, Lyft, SideCar, etc.) and their drivers will be licensed and required to meet insurance requirements. All aspects of this industry will be required to carry insurance.
  • For-hire drivers will have hailing rights for the first time.
  • The city will provide 200 new taxi licenses over the next four years. Taxi and for-hire licenses will transition to a property right similar to a medallion in other cities.
  • There will be no cap on the number of drivers for transportation network companies.
  •  Accessibility fund will be created through a 10 cent per ride surcharge for riders who will acquire accessible services.
Lyft supporters gather at a City Hall rally in February.

Lyft supporters gather at a City Hall rally in February.

(See full news release below.)

The agreement still needs to be approved by the Seattle City Council. Perhaps the most notable part of today’s agreement is that there are no limits on how many cars each company can have driving on Seattle’s roads. Murray is asking the Seattle City Council to repeal the controversial ordinance that set those limits, which would also end efforts to hold a public referendum on the ordinance.

If this new agreement had not been reached, Murray had promised to issue cease-and-desist letters to stop services like UberX and Lyft from operating in the city without regulation — similar to what’s being done in Virginia right now.

Today’s decision effectively ends a year-long debate in Seattle over how the TNCs, which use smartphone apps to connect riders and passengers, should be regulated. Many felt that the City Council was limiting innovation with the 150-cap; others said that the startups need to follow the law and stop avoiding regulation.

During the news conference, Murray talked about new technology from taxi companies that he expects to compete more effectively with the apps from the technology startups.

“I think the technology has created something that didn’t exist before. But what I heard from folks in this city — on the far left or somewhere else — is that they like to use an app to get a car. Someday, it will be a Yellow Cab, and today it’s Uber and Lyft.”

Lyft issued this statement on the news.

Today is a first step on a path to securing a future for ridesharing in Seattle. Thousands of residents have spoken up in support of Lyft’s community-powered movement and today their voices have been heard. Peer-to-peer transportation options like Lyft benefit the local economy, improve residents’ and visitors’ quality of life, and promote safe and affordable rides. We appreciate Mayor Murray’s desire to find a solution that prioritizes public safety without stifling innovation, and we will continue to work collaboratively to improve transportation access, safety and affordability for Seattle residents.

As with many compromises, however, not everyone will be happy with the outcome. One theme from Murray’s press conference today was that everybody lost in some ways, and won in others.

GreenCab Taxi General Manager Chris Van Dyk, who’s listed as a plaintiff in the referendum lawsuit against the City, said in advance of the announcement that there would be a major problem with ending the cap on the TNCs.

“The experience in Seattle in years past, in San Francisco and in Ireland now, is that if you have unlimited entry, if you have no limit on the number of taxi and for-hire vehicles, operators simply cannot make a living wage, and the industry goes to hell in a handbasket, and in a relatively short time,” Van Dyk told GeekWire. “The economics of the industry are counter-intuitive, because of the low threshold of entry. Apps do not change this.”

Seattle joins a small handful of cities who have created regulations that allow the TNCs to legally conduct business (none have enforced caps). Most recently, Chicago approved new laws that drew the ire of taxi drivers.

Meanwhile in California, where the TNCs have been legal since September, regulators now want to add more laws around proper insurance coverage. They also are now threatening to shut down the TNCs if they continue offering their services at the major California airports.

Uber and Lyft have not been welcome in all cities. Police in Miami are impounding Lyft drivers and implementing sting operations, while Uber is flat-out banned in Brussels.

But investors do not seem to be worried about potential legal and regulatory roadblocks. Uber, which is operating in 130 cities worldwide, has now raised $1.5 billion, while Lyft has reeled in more than $330 million.

Update: Here’s the full text of the news release announcing the agreement.

Mayor Ed Murray, for-hire representatives reach historic agreement

SEATTLE (June 16, 2014) – Seattle Mayor Ed Murray was joined today by Seattle City Councilmembers and for-hire industry representatives to announce a historic agreement that provides a framework to enable all parties in the for-hire industry to compete fairly to serve the needs of the public.

“The agreement honors the taxi industry’s historic role in Seattle as a key component of the city’s transportation infrastructure and as a vital source of jobs, particularly for Seattle’s immigrant communities. It also embraces this rapidly transforming industry and recognizes that Seattle must stand at the forefront of innovation and not impede new ideas or add the burden of unnecessary regulations,” said Murray. “I am grateful for the willingness of all of the parties to come together in the spirit of compromise and consensus in order to find common ground.”

On April 16, Murray convened a mediation group that included representatives of taxi owners, dispatch companies, taxi drivers, for-hire owners and drivers, and transportation network companies. Over 55 days and more than 12 meetings, this group made steady progress toward balancing the legitimate interests of all sides, protecting public safety, and promoting access to a broad array transportation options in Seattle.

“The taxi industry is pleased that we can now compete and will soon offer mobile app technology. We will soon be the only service that the public can get with smart phone, phone, taxi stand and traditional hail without discrimination,” said Amin Shifow, wheelchair-accessible taxi operator.

“The For Hire drivers and owners thank Mayor Murray for bringing all parts of our industry together in order to reform city regulations to create a fair and competitive market for our services,” said Abdul Yusuf, Owner CNG For Hire and member of the For Hire Drivers and Owners Association.

“Uber is committed to providing the safest and most convenient rides in Seattle while also offering consumer choice for riders and economic opportunity for drivers.  Today’s announcement recognizes that the innovation economy is critical to Seattle’s future and we thank Mayor Murray for his leadership in reaching a compromise that benefits both riders and drivers,” said Brooke Steger, General Manager, Uber Seattle.

“Seattle is a city that supports innovation and understands the transformative potential of technology. This is a city that is embracing ridesharing, and that’s why Lyft intends to be here for the long haul helping to facilitate a new era of transportation choices for Seattle residents. This agreement is a step in the right direction, and we look forward to working with the City Council to get it enacted into law,” said Katie Kincaid, an executive with Lyft.

Key terms of the deal:

  • Transportation network companies and their drivers will be licensed and required to meet specific insurance requirements.
  • The City will work with the industry to clarify or change state insurance law to account for recent changes in the industry, similar to recent actions in Colorado.
  • There will be no cap on the number of transportation network company drivers.
  • The City will provide 200 new taxi licenses over the next four years.
  • Taxi and for-hire licenses will transition to a property right that is similar to a medallion in other cities.
  • For-hire drivers will have hailing rights.
  • An accessibility fund will be created through a $0.10 per ride surcharge for drivers and owners to offset higher trip and vehicle costs for riders who require accessibility services.

“Earlier this year I called for an agreement that would remove burdensome caps on transportation network companies and also continue the Council’s goal of reasonably regulating the industry to ensure that passengers and drivers are safe on our City streets,” said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chair of the Transportation Committee. “I applaud the Mayor for bringing all of the interested parties together to reach a compromise agreement which addresses this important issue, and for his work to ensure that innovative companies in this industry will be able to continue to thrive in Seattle.”

“I praise the inclusive process that ultimately led to this agreement.  I fully support the growing industry of alternative transportation, while assuring the public is safe, well served, and fares are fair. This agreement takes a giant step in that direction,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw.

Murray will work with the Council to repeal the suspended ordinance. New legislation will be transmitted in the coming weeks.

 

  • SamuelRoby

    How big was the BRIBE that uber paid to get this done?
    Hundreds of small local transportation businesses now will face UNFAIR
    UNETHICAL competition that pays no taxes, has no permits and eliminates
    all and any technology competition that comes to Seattle.
    Shame to all politicians who supported this fraud orchestrated from safe
    offshore tax-havens by few greedy oligarch billionaires..
    Ride-sharing is a FRAUD operation.
    You want to make it FAIR? Impose same rules and regulations you are imposing
    on our small transportation businesses. Anything else is just another sham.

    • Slaggggg

      Maybe their bribe was they offered a great service ??

    • Dane Curbow

      Sorry you are talking about the wrong industries here. Offshore tax havens belong to big oil, the war complex, and giant corporations, not peer to peer connection services.

    • Matt Magnone

      People who work for taxis aren’t forced to. They can just as easily leave that job and join Lyft! Your argument is stupid. If they think it’s unfair, then don’t drive for taxis and find another job! Plain and simple!

      I hope you have fun trying to get a taxi to pick you up, dingleberry.

    • powerhousepro

      He is just jealous the taxi companies are quickly losing their grip on that monopoly. Haha.. The traditional taxi companies are a sham! It’s funny the exact words he felt necessary to capitalize directly describes traditional taxi companies. Lmfao

    • notafraidofchange

      You want to talk about “unfair” and “unethical”!!! OK, let’s discuss the NIGHTMARE of actually attempting to use a Seattle “for hire” cab!! First you call and let the phone ring 15-20 times before some surly mumbler begrudgingly answers it, then you give your location 2 or 3 times before the almost get it correct and want your phone number (even though it’s probably displayed in front of them) THEN THE “FUN” BEGINS,! A “15-20 minute wait” is easily 45… Three other cabs, both the same company and competitors, will S L O W L Y drive by and hope you hope in for the “steal”.. If ,by some miracle, your initial cab DOES arrive, it’s invariably filthy, smells of either food, B.O., or newly legal recreational herbs and driven by a person that assumes YOU know where you are going and will give them directions in Kindergarten Level English so as NOT to “offend” THEM while they speak in their native tongue endlessly on a rickety “burner phone” LOUDLY and laugh while stealing glances at you via the rear view mirror that is hanging precariously from the dirty windshield. Upon arrival, they SLAM on the brakes to violently propel you forward as to say, WERE HERE,!, and to top it off, will put the phone down just long enough to EXPECT A “GRATUITY”!!!!! As the kids say today…….. Oh HELL NO!!!! ds

    • dan10things

      Cry all you want for the poor taxi business that’s treated consumers horribly for decades, but this is a win for the citizens of the Seattle that just want to get home at the end of the night. I’m done getting stranded for an hour downtown at 2am waiting for or trying to hail a cab. If the cab companies start using apps, let us pay online, and have enough cars available to pick us up quickly, they can compete. Competition is good for consumers, so is having multiple options. Obviously there was a need for these companies that wasn’t being met by the taxi companies, that’s why they have flourished.

  • Guest

    Boom! We’re very pleased with the outcome of this negotiation. Mayor Murray, you’ve done the right thing.

  • CuriousOffice

    Yes! Seattle finally proves what I’ve long believed. That in the end, they care about what consumers *want* to buy and will react accordingly. The growth of uber and Lyft demonstrate that innovation and hard work trumps whining any day of the week.

    • Bill

      You guys just don’t get it. The drivers’ insurance will not cover anything if they have an accident because they are in violation of their policy. They are required by law to have a commercial license. Uber stated that they have come up with a million dollars of excess liability. That’s great but it doesn’t cover the passenger in the Uber car if they are killed. It only covers the other people in the other car. That’s what liability is.

  • notafraidofchange

    Perhaps this FINALLY the end of smelly, filthy, late cabs driven by unintelligible drivers who CONSTANTLY “chat” on phones while aimlessly drive about and hope they are heading to the intended destination! Competition will FORCE substandard and ,frankly, dangerous cab drivers off the roads and the consumers will be better off for it. Thanks, Mayor, for siding with the citizens who demanded long needed rational and safe change.

    • Hy и Hy

      Great remarks! And how about “broken” credit card machines? :-)

      • Dane Curbow

        Who needs em! I just pay through my phone :D

      • Ryan Rohrer

        Omg that makes me soooooooo mad. You have a credit card sticker on your cab, don’t yell at me when we get to the destination and you cant swipe my card. Fuck off.

  • Slaggggg

    Great!

    What does this mean? : “For-hire drivers will have hailing rights for the first time

    • Salty_Swede

      I think it means they can pick up people who flag them down off the street, instead of just via app or phone.

      • Slaggggg

        Aren’t all of these folks (taxis, app drivers, etc) “for hire” drivers? I’m missing who gets some new privilege here…

        • baf

          I believe that “For Hire” refers to limos, town cars, and some cabs that – until now – were not lawfully able to pick up riders off the street. They were only supposed to offer service to those who called and reserved in advance. See http://www.cng4hire.com/services/ (mentioned in the article) as an example.

        • Cascadia Bryan

          This refers only to the “cabs” that have “For Hire” in their name. They
          have been able to do anything a cab can, except pick up a passenger off
          the street. Now they will be able to, legally. (Most have been doing
          it all along, anyway though.)

  • aaronbrethorst

    “The experience in Seattle in years past, in San Francisco and in Ireland now, is that if you have unlimited entry, if you have no limit on the number of taxi and for-hire vehicles, operators simply cannot make a living wage, and the industry goes to hell in a handbasket, and in a relatively short time.”

    That’s no excuse for offering bad service.

    • Guest500

      If drivers can’t make enough money they stop driving and go do something else. This is how absurd our politicians are; they think they need to manage the market or it will collapse. Yes, there will be ups and downs but ultimately, over time, it will be efficient.

    • Joe Lamy

      Your point is well taken. Too many drivers, right? ..all looking for the same rider, so prices drop; cabbies and purple mustaches drop like flies and driving around goes to heaven in a whisper. Our city plugs into falling water, splintered sunlight and spring breezes. Seattle finds its strength walking softly, making big planes and beautiful music in a quieter place where we celebrate the toe-prints of life – passing on to our 7 generations these very hummingbirds hovering here and diving there for honey-suckle nectars under those twisted whispering pines. Gobs of jammed-in and honkin’ oily cars stinkin’ the place up is not what the chief had in mind. I applaud Murray’s respect for our other leaders and his trust of the pulse of our people, this place and this time. Cars, meh.. like phone booths and pony express riders. When was cooperation a bad thing?

  • Salty_Swede

    Deregulation can be a good thing. I thank Jimmy carter each time I crack open an IPA.

    • Dane Curbow

      Yep, it just depends. There is good and bad regulation. (Look at ISPs and all the bad regulation and lack of any good regulation)

  • JCJ Bike

    I don’t see a problem with Lyft/others, but the cab companies should stop paying fees or taxes these new competitors don’t have to pay. It’s staggering hypocrisy for citizens of seattle who so eagerly embrace more taxes (and demand cab companies pay those taxes) and then do an “end run” around the cab companies who have been putting money into the city coffers for decades.

    Be consistent as it’s the fair thing to do.

  • Vroo (Bruce Leban)

    “The City will provide 200 new taxi licenses over the next four years.”

    Huh? Why is there an artificial cap on the number of taxis but no limit on the “TNC”s? How does that level the playing field? Of course these licenses will be the same price as the TNC licenses = $0 so there will be more demand than supply. Can’t wait to see all the uber-lyft-boosters complain about these unfair caps.

  • Vroo (Bruce Leban)

    Does this mean that cabs and for hire services will be free to charge any fare they want just as uber and lyft are?

  • pitbullstew

    gee what happened? dont tell me that Uber and Lyft spent $400-k for a referendum they were afraid of losing?

    @ thousands of dollars per signature no one at uber or lyft has any business what so ever fronting this fraud about peer to peer, (or donations, its fee for service for profit and every one knows it) this is all about silicon vulture capiltast billions of dollars of corporate greed in action using the dupes who use their personal resources to underwrite the business activities of corporate personhoods in the form og uber and lyft.

    • https://twitter.com/micsolana Michael Solana

      i dunno, maybe everyone will finally realize that supporting an old monopoly that offers a poor service at the expense of a vibrant new peer-to-peer industry that offers a free marketplace for literally anyone to buy or sell within, no matter their union political connections, is the right thing to do, and all of this lyft nonsense will just go away.

      • pitbullstew

        peer to peer ya say? what acrock, its commercial for hire livery fee for servive stop with the lying will ya?

  • pitbullstew

    Taxi Industry Wants To Throw Uber And Lyft Drivers In Jail – …

    libertycrier.com/taxi-industry-wants-throw-uber-lyft-drivers-jail/

    June 17, 2014. Uber-Lyft-Taxis-Jail Miami-Dade County is slamming the brakes on Uber and Lyft, two popular ridesharing alternatives to hailing a cab.

  • Larry Best

    Seattle is ahead of the world on regulating rideshare.

    We are talking all aspects of rideshare on this forum for drivers at
    http://uberpeople.net

  • Farok Atik

    Has a great time using uber for the first time! Driver was very friendly and came promptly. My total was $24 but everything was waived since I had a promo code and it was my first time. I tried taking lyft on the way home and it was terrible! Overcharged by $35 because of the shady driver who claimed I asked for an hour long ride when it was only 20minutes.

    We love UBER because:

    1. UBER is way cheaper than a DUI

    2. we feel less homicidal riding in UBER cars than driving in our own car in city . traffic

    3. UBER arrives within minutes of being called

    4. UBER drivers are way less weird and creepy than taxi drivers

    5. NO cash is exchanged

    Service is affordable, as well. Couldn’t be happier with uberX, and they really fun . HERE IS A $25 CREDIT CODE : z5ju9h

    Enter this code z5ju9h In the payment section before you request your FIRST ride and. you will receive a $20 credit towards that ride .. The credit is valid on first ride so use it for a long ride to get the best value. Great community. Never take a taxi again…

    Go for Uber you will never ever be desappointed :)

  • theotherRJH

    Are those services called “gypsy cabs” in New York? The cabbies that refuse to buy into the medallion scam?

  • Roland

    They need to follow the Law like everyone else . I am not against competition . I am against lawlessness . Read the Law that these Companies stick their noses up on :
    Electronic Wireless Communications Device: Prohibited Use

    23123.5. (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle

    while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send,

    or read a text–based communication, unless the electronic wireless

    communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow

    voice operated and hands-free operation to dictate, send, or listen to a

    text-based communication, and it is used in that manner while driving.

    (b) As used in this section “write, send, or read a

    text-based communication” means using an electronic wireless

    communications device to manually communicate with any person using a

    text-based communication, including, but not limited to, communications

    referred to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail.

    Cal

    (c) For purposes of this section, a person shall not be

    deemed to be writing, reading, or sending a text–based communication if

    the person reads, selects, or enters a telephone number or name in an

    electronic wireless communications device for the purpose of making or

    receiving a telephone call or if a person otherwise activates or

    deactivates a feature or function on an electronic wireless

    communications device.

  • ClaimsAdjuster

    I like how Taylor Soper, boy journalist, and the rest of the press hails this agreement without actually knowing what is in it. Here is the draft mediation terms.

    Mayor Murray was determined to announce an agreement and that is what he got. The participants who did not go along had already walked out of the negotiations by the end. So what was produced is a mirage, not an actual agreement among the stakeholders.

    The insurance industry was certainly a stakeholder in this but was not at the table. For example, one Lyft/Uber proposal stated that the City is supposed to endorse the “Colorado insurance rules” for TNCs at the state level:


    “With City support, industry reps participating in this agreement will work jointly to clarify or modify the current language of State insurance law to account for recent changes in the industry and business models of all market participants, including TNCs, taxis and for-hire vehicles. The City will support an insurance language changes similar to the agreement recently reached in Colorado…”

    If the insurance industry had been represented, they would never agree to this this lax Colorado coverage which is only $50K max injury per individual, $100 tops per accident while the UberX/Lyft driver is in between fares. The Sofia Liu case in California fits that profile. The City of San Francisco has already spent $500K on medical treatment for the surviving members of the Liu family. The Colorado rules would allow just a $100K payout in that case.

    Neither the Seattle City Council nor Olympia is likely to go along with this when the max on taxi insurance is currently $325K whether the cab has a passenger or not. Instead of Colorado, the City Council would be more likely to follow the example of California where both the CPUC and the state legislature are now in a race to be the first to put an end to TNC corner cutting on insurance.

    In the mean time, the court case against the Uber/Lyft referendum will soon be decided. If the the plaintiffs prevail, the currently suspended law, caps and all, will go into effect. The Mayor’s agreement will just end up in the trash where it belongs.

  • deal guy

    $50 uber promo code rc0al

  • jacksonm

    Four months ago, I waited for an hour in the rain for my Yellow Cab. I finally gave up, downloaded the Uber app, and a cab arrived in 5 minutes. I never called Yellow Cab again. Uber’s cars ride more smoothly, their drivers are friendlier, and their service is infinitely more reliable.

    Since then, I have used Uber about 20-30 times. I have never waited more than 7 minutes for a ride. Why would I ever go back to waiting 15, 20, 30 minutes or more?

    Rather than whine like babies that Uber is stealing their business, the cab companies should be working on the quality of their product.

    It’s called capitalism. Your less viable product will not sell. Get busy improving or get busy packing up and closing.

  • Charlie

    Anybody skeptical of Lyft needs to try the service themselves for free!

    1. Download the Lyft app
    2. Enter code SEA25 (works nationwide)
    3. Request and enjoy your free ride
    4. Repeat on another phone to ride again free!

  • Charlie

    Try a Lyft yourself for FREE

    1. Download the Lyft app

    2. Enter code SEA25

    3. Request and enjoy your free ride

    4. Repeat on another phone to ride free again

  • William Doyal

    The city council will probably vote this down if they have any sense. When the Uber and Lyft drivers find out how much more that they are going to pay for the required insurance they will bail out. This should have been ironed out in advance.

    • Mr. poor driver

      $$$$$ speak not fair justice for last 30 years with the current illegal owners and UBERS. Seattle/king county councils need to share equal licenses for primary fulltime job holders. the poor drivers are always a looser of opportunity for the advantage of 45% income shifted to illegal taxicab owners and 28% per trip now for UBER. shame shame….

      • POOR.CORPORATE

        Mr. poor. CORPORATE driver
        AMERICA IS A BLESSED LAND FOR ANYONE WITH RESPECT, BUT IT IS A SHAME ADMINISTRATION FOR IGNORING POOR DRIVERS UNEQUAL LICENSES DISTRIBUTION RIGHT FOR LONG YEARS. NOW, GIVING UPPER RIGHT PREVILAGES FOR CURRENT ILLEGAL LISENSE TAXICAB HOLDER FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS. AGAIN, WITH HIGHLY SEGREGATED CLOUD MOTION OF UBER ONTO IMMIGRANT COMMUNTY’S BY PLAYING MIND GAME OF TECH. INDUSTRY. U TAKING POINT A..B THE CUSTOMER, IF U HAVE GOOD WEB BASED DISPATCH SYSTEM IN CASUAL UNSKILLED NATURE OR DRIVERS FOR LIVING. WE NEVER EXPECT SUCH THINGS WILL HAPPENED IN AMERICA SHAME FOR THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL’S TRADING WITH UBER AND THOSE ILLEGAL LISENSE ABUSER. YOU KILLING THE LONG WA STATE DIVERSE NATURE PRIDE AMONG US. YOU NAME IT, BUT WE NAME IT SHAME SHAME…..!!! HOW COMES THE UBER PEOPLE DRIING WITH OUT COMMERCIAL INSURANCE FOR THE LAST 10 MONTHS AND THE RIDER’S PUBLIC IS AT RISK AND THE COUNCIL’S IGNORIG THE AWERNESS TO THE PUBLIC!

        • Sam

          JULY 7, 2014 9:30 Council’s will stop all illegal operator of taxicab owners and UBER affiliate. Thanks to WA state Gov. Jay Will rebranded Mayor mind worked as a facilitator for UBER. Equal legal taxicab licenses redistribution under Seattle/King County new all in one Dispatch admin. Thanks Gov. Jay you are lovely.

  • Concerened

    Your article(s) need to be more accurate and need to educate your audience that the service being affected is UberX (the smaller personally owned vehicles), and not the Towncars under Uber. The Towncars are already regulated by the State and other municipalities, along with the Chauffeurs. It is UberX, which is a separate business entity, and is the one that is unregulated and needs to be reigned in. Your readers and the general public do not know the difference between the two business entities. Placing a cap on UberX is important for two reasons: without a cap, every single driver will be scraping by and barely making ends meet. Drivers already find it very difficult to earn a decent living wage. Why should anyone work for slave wages especially when a company is worth billions of dollars? This is nothing more than exploitation of employees, d exploitation of regulations, and the misleading of the general public.

    While it is true that servicing the customer is very important, that will definitely not be a problem. Imagine having a ratio of 10 vehicles to one customer, or even higher. That does not make driving for this company worthwhile and discredits the company’s claim that drivers make anywhere between $25 an hour to forty-five dollars an hour. That is simply not true. The second reason is, if there is no cap, and very lax regulations, these companies can very well take over the entire taxi AND Limousine industry, which many immigrant workers historically have depended on as a means to enter into the middle class for many generations. Therefore these companies will become monopolies and turn out to be just like a taxi company in the end, who will run amok and and be just another AT&T, Comcast, and Amazon all of which do not allow for entrepreneurship, and opportunities for small businesses to enter the industry with innovative products and progressive ideas.

  • pitbullstew

    COURT TO RULE ON UBER
    REFERENDUM TUESDAY, SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL URGED TO DELAY REPEAL DECISION

    TAXI INDUSTRY
    FILES NEW LAWSUIT TO BLOCK UBER SEATTLE
    INITIATIVES 119, 120 & 121.

    TAXI
    SAYS TAXI/FOR-HIRE REGULATIONS NOT
    SUBJECT TO EITHER REFERENDUM OR LOCAL
    INITIATIVE

    July 6, 2014

    CONTACT: CHRIS VAN DYK, 206-965-0086, CVANDYK5@MSN.COM

    REPRESENTING: GREENCAB TAXI & DISABLED SERVICES
    ASSOCIATION;

    SEATTLE TAXI
    DRIVERS ASSOCIATION; 127+ DUES PAYING
    SEATTLE TAXI NON-OWNER LEASE DRIVERS

    RIDEHAIL LLC; A
    SEATTLE BASED TAXI APP DEVELOPMENT COMPANY

    THE EVERGREEN STATE TAXI ASSOCIATION; LARGEST TAXI ADVOCACY
    ASSOCIATION IN
    STATE

    “We are very pleased that King County Superior Court Judge
    Monica Benton has indicated that she will rule this upcoming Tuesday on the
    substance of our lawsuit, the legality of the Uber Referendum to repeal Council
    Bill 118306,” said Chris Van Dyk, General Manager of GreenCab. Major segments
    of the taxicab industry have brought suit to block Uber’s referendum to repeal
    Seattle regulation of the rideshare industry. Judge Benton’s ruling this last
    Thursday, July 3rd, was the first in what many observers believe will
    be extended litigation, with appeals by either side.

    “Our concern, now,” said Van Dyk, “Is that the Seattle
    City Council may, at its Monday, July 7th meeting, repeal CB 118306
    and not wait for the Court to rule that the Referendum is not legal. CB 118306
    regulated Uber and other rideshare companies. The key issues are insurance and
    public safety, and a cap on the number of vehicles. And of course, the fact
    that Uber just doesn’t want to be regulated by anybody,
    period.”

    Van Dyk added, “We have learned that Uber is
    threatening the Seattle City Council, that if the Council doesn’t repeal CB
    118306 on Monday, Uber will submit signatures, on Tuesday morning, to qualify
    one or more of their Initiatives 119, 120 & 121 for the ballot.

    “So we are filing another lawsuit, to block the City
    from processing the Uber initiatives. These initiatives are not legal, same as
    the Referendum is not legal. The law treats referendum and initiative powers,
    at the local level, the same.”

    Asked about Uber attorney Michelle Radosovich’s assertion in
    Court Thursday that “the entire taxi industry” backed an “agreement” reached by
    the Mayor, with Uber, to settle the dispute between rideshare companies and the
    taxi industry, Van Dyk responded, “Ms. Radosovich is obviously not in the taxi
    industry. Many of us were not involved in the discussions. As a matter of
    fact, Orange Cab, with 113 cabs, pulled out of the discussions, one week before
    the ‘agreement’ was announced. Their General Manager has said the ‘agreement’
    will put Orange out of business, in a year, because the ‘agreement’ has no limit
    on the number of vehicles allowed to operate as taxi, for-hire or rideshare on
    the streets of Seattle.”

    Van Dyk continued, “Orange has about 25% of the licensed
    Seattle taxis, that service the city—-outside of the airport. Tell me, what
    kind of comprehensive agreement is that? Who would sign off on it, unless
    they were under extreme pressure? That is what the agreement does, it
    forces the taxicab industry, out of a sense of desperation, to accept things
    that are economically devastating to us.

    “In fact, the ‘agreement’ puts the lives of Seattle taxi
    drivers at risk, with provisions that remove safety camera requirements, with
    insurance requirements that make little sense and do not protect the public.
    Some taxi operators don’t need cameras, and are desperate to reduce costs, in
    light of the predatory fare-cutting tactics of Uber. But that doesn’t mean
    trashing an entire industry, is the way to solve the problem.

    “We are a large industry, and these are complex issues
    that cannot and should not be resolved, under threat, from Uber, or anybody, if
    the goal is to have something good come of it, for everybody. Letting the Court
    do its job, and rule on the legality of the Referendum, takes the power of the
    Uber threat away, and lets the Council and the taxi industry, and rideshare, get
    on with solving problems, reasonably.”

  • pitbullstew

    The reality is: Uber’s success is decidedly un-American. It is
    anti-free market. Its only success is rooted in manipulation and strong-arm
    tactics. Their powerful lobbyists pull political strings behind-the-scenes.
    The greedy dregs at Goldman Sachs, which swallowed a $12.9 billion taxpayer
    bailout in 2008 afterfueling AIG’s risky subprime housing market gambles, are
    among Uber’s biggest backers.

    This is crony capitalism at its worst. Uber is not interested in reforming the taxi
    system. They just want to substitute the beneficiaries: them.

    If the taxicab industry requires reform, reform it. But this Uber political
    sleight-of-hand is underhanded. It is dishonest.

    And dishonesty is the most un-American thing of all.

    Huffington Post-Willaim J. Kelly