Seattle is on the verge of capping the number of total UberX, Lyft and Sidecar drivers in the city to 300 and one Grammy Award-winning musician from the Emerald City isn’t too happy about that.
Macklemore, a Seattle native and world famous rapper, used his social media accounts on Tuesday to voice his opinion on the regulations proposed by the Seattle City Council’s Committee for Taxi, For-hire, and Limousine Regulations.
The committee will vote Thursday on an ordinance that limits the total number of Lyft, Sidecar and UberX drivers to 300 (Uber’s other offerings, UberBlack and UberSUV, won’t be affected). These startups say that the cap will effectively shut down their operations in Seattle.
Macklemore seems to agree and isn’t a big fan of the city’s idea. He used both his Twitter and Facebook accounts to encourage people to sign a petition in favor of allowing services like UberX to operate without a driver limit Seattle.
— Macklemore (@macklemore) February 25, 2014
An Uber spokesperson tells us that the company did not pay Macklemore to promote its service, so it seems as though the rapper actually cares about keeping UberX alive in Seattle.
A debate has been raging in the city in recent weeks over whether the new breed of companies like UberX and Lyft — which allow customers to request a ride via a smartphone and automatically pay for fares without using cash — should be able to operate in the city.
Many, including those in the tech industry, argue that these companies offer a more innovative and convenient alternative to traditional taxi cabs, and that the city should not regulate them. Others, especially those in the taxi and for-hire industry, say that the new services should be regulated or curtailed, and that they should not get a free pass on regulations simply because they utilize new methods for attracting riders.
We’ll be at City Hall on Thursday to find out how the committee votes. See all of our coverage on this issue here.