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Seattle will issue cease-and-desist to ride-sharing companies if deal can’t be reached

Seattle will issue a ceast-and-desist letter to app-based transportation startups like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar if an agreement between the companies, taxi drivers and city leaders cannot be made by the end of May. In an interview with GeekWire today, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said that he will spend the next 45 days working with stakeholders… Read More

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Seattle ride-sharing regulations suspended; Mayor wants to negotiate with stakeholders

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… Read More

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Angry Uber drivers complain about company: ‘We’re treated a little better than slaves’

Uber, the fast-growing San Francisco app-based transportation startup, has another problem to deal with in Seattle: Angry drivers who say they’re being treated like slaves. Former and current Uber drivers gathered on Sunday afternoon to discus what they call “unjust working conditions.” They met to talk about a possible union and address concerns about Uber’s… Read More

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Seattle’s ride-sharing rules headed for city-wide vote — with one potential roadblock

The fate of app-based transportation companies like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar may soon be decided by the people of Seattle. A coalition group that is collecting petition signatures to suspend a newly-passed ordinance regulating those companies tells GeekWire that it expects to easily surpass the number of signatures required for a city-wide vote. “We’re very pleased with how… Read More

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Lyft raises $250M Series D round, eyes international expansion

Lyft may be battling city governments for the right to conduct business, but that isn’t stopping investors from putting millions of dollars behind the app-based transportation company. Today Lyft announced a $250 million Series D round, which brings total funding for the company up to $333 million. The latest round comes from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz,… Read More

Lyft supporters gather at a City Hall rally in February.

Fighting Seattle City Council: Coalition group aims to suspend ride-sharing legislation

A new coalition group in Seattle wants to collect enough petition signatures in hopes of suspending a newly-passed ordinance that regulates app-based transportation companies like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar. The coalition, named “Keep Seattle’s Ride Options,” was formed by Seattle residents and has the support of UberX, Lyft and Sidecar. The goal is to override… Read More

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Uber transportation service coming to Tacoma in April

Heads up, Tacoma taxi drivers: You’re about to have new competition. Just weeks after Lyft and Sidecar began offering their transportation service in Washington’s third-largest city, Uber announced today that it will offer rides in the region next month. In a blog post, Uber includes a link for interested drivers and a form for businesses that… Read More

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Uber shares commercial insurance policy just days after leak

For the past several months, members of the Seattle City Council have called out companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar for not sharing their insurance policies, saying that they need to see the documents in order to help form requirements for regulation. Now, though, Uber has answers — but only after an anonymous leaker revealed the… Read More

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Lyft to battle Seattle City Council: ‘We’re prepared to fight for your right to share rides’

Even though the Seattle City Council already voted to enact laws that will regulate app-based transportation companies like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar, the California-based startups are still letting their displeasure be heard. Today, Lyft sent out an email to customers with a subject line titled, “Defending your right to Lyft.” In the letter, Lyft employee… Read More

Salah Mohamed, a 14-year Seattle taxi veteran, says he doesn’t mind competition from companies like Uber but wants a level-playing field for all transportation providers. Photo courtesy of Mohamed.

Taxi drivers defend suit against Uber in Seattle, say they want level playing field

Taxicab drivers in Seattle are suing Uber not because they’re scared of competition. In fact, they say they welcome it. Rather, members of The Western Washington Taxi Cab Operators Association argue that their lawsuit is all about fairness. Their comments, in interviews with GeekWire, add more context to the suit’s clam that Uber’s service “engages in an unlawful and… Read More

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Seattle-area taxi association sues Uber for ‘unlawful and deceptive business practice’

The Western Washington Taxi Cab Operators Association is suing Uber, the app-based transportation company, for operating illegally in Seattle and King County. The lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court, claims that Uber’s service has violated city, county and state laws, and “engages in an unlawful and deceptive business practice which harms the economic interests of taxicab… Read More

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Live blog: Seattle City Council votes on controversial regulations for Lyft, UberX, Sidecar

Follow-up: Seattle City Council approves cap on Lyft, UberX, Sidecar drivers Breakdown: What the key players are saying about Seattle’s ride-sharing cap Hey, Seattle, why stop with ride-sharing? Cap these 10 other innovations while you’re at it House of Cars: Lessons in politics from Seattle’s ride-sharing saga ——————————————————————————— We’ve settled in here at City Hall,… Read More

Lyft supporters gather at a City Hall rally in February.

Driving politicians crazy: A breakdown of ride-sharing controversies, city-by-city

From California to Florida, city and state officials are debating how to regulate ride-sharing services. In Seattle, GeekWire has been following the subject closely as these hybrid taxi services and technology companies butt heads with traditional cab companies. On Monday, the Seattle city council will vote on whether to cap the number of drivers that can be… Read More

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UberX, Sidecar and Lyft reveal how many drivers they have in Seattle

During last week’s City Council committee meeting in Seattle, several councilmembers voiced frustration over the fact that app-based transportation services like Lyft would not reveal data about how many drivers they had. But now, with a crucial vote looming later this month, the companies are speaking up. The total number of transportation network company (TNC)… Read More

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Washington state rep: ‘Artificially capping rideshares serves absolutely no public interest’

One Washington state politician thinks Seattle is making a mistake with its plan to place caps on app-based transportation startups, and plans to introduce his own statewide legislation to regulate these companies. Cyrus Habib, a Democrat who represents the 48th district and sits on the state’s transportation committee, told GeekWire that he agrees these startups should be regulated with rules like mandated commercial insurance… Read More

Lyft supporters gather at a City Hall rally in February.

House of Cars: Lessons in politics from Seattle’s ridesharing saga

In this corner: We have a young, innovative company that says it’s changing the playing field, and making life better for everyone through innovation. This company’s opponents say it isn’t playing fair. In that corner: We have the government agency responsible for overseeing the playing field. The company’s opponents are calling on this agency to do something…. Read More

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Seattle city leaders sound off on ride-sharing dilemma — who do you agree with?

Tensions were high Thursday evening at Seattle City Hall as councilmembers debated how to regulate new app-based transportation companies like UberX, Sidecar and Lyft. After much back-and-forth, the City Council voted 5-4 to cap the number of Lyft, UberX or Sidecar (Transportation Network Companies) drivers active at any given time on each system to 150. That means… Read More