About 900 people currently drive for uberX in Seattle, and the number of active drivers “regularly exceeds” 300 at any given moment, Uber said today — predicting longer wait times and implying that there will be an increase in drunk driving if the Seattle City Council goes through with its plan to put limits on Uber and rival transportation network companies.
That’s twice the planned limit of 150 active drivers that the city plans to impose on each company under its new regulations.
[UPDATE: The scheduled vote has been postponed a week, to March 17, because a councilmember will be out of town and unable to participate.]
Uber also released new details of its insurance policy, which has been a sticking point in the city’s deliberations. The company said its current insurance includes $1 million of liability coverage per incident, $1 million of uninsured motorist coverage per incident, and a commitment to cover collision costs if an Uber driver’s personal collision insurance is found not to apply to a particular incident.
The details were released in advance of a scheduled vote in which the Seattle City Council is poised to impose the new limits on Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, following up on a preliminary 5-4 decision. The companies are making a last-minute effort to head off the new regulations, saying that the City Council is going too far in an effort to appease the traditional taxi industry.
In a news release this afternoon disclosing the numbers, Uber said, “Without a functioning rideshare system operating at market demand, riders will see wait times increase and caps will likely have the unfortunate outcome of more people choosing to get into their own car after a night out on the town.”
Given the 900 total drivers in its system in Seattle, the company also said that about 600 Uber drivers will lose the ability to earn an income under the rules, not counting the likelihood of further growth if not for the planned limits.
Stay tuned to GeekWire for more coverage of this issue leading up to the vote on Monday.