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With new startups like Uber and Lyft entering markets without regulation, taxi drivers often tell lawmakers that they want a “level-playing field.”

Well, they’re getting one in Tacoma, Wash.

UberX, Lyft, and Sidecar are now legal in Tacoma as the City Council voted unanimously to regulate the companies under the same rules that taxi drivers must follow.

uberxThe city has ditched some rules that were enforced in 2007 after violent taxi driver attacks, including requirements for in-car camera systems and silent alarms.

Taxi companies will continue to pay $125 per year for each driver’s licensing fees, while companies like Uber must pay their own $15,000 licensing fee. All drivers will be required to purchase a $25 annual business license, or $90 if he or she makes more than $12,000 yearly. They will also have to pass a training program — taxi drivers already were required to do this.

Similar to the regulations in Seattle — where the city created separate rules for the new transportation startups — all rides in Tacoma will be assessed a 10-cent per ride fee to fund wheelchair-accessible taxis. As far as insurance, companies are required to carry policies with a minimum combined single limit coverage of $300,000 or split coverage of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident — standards that meet the minimum state law requirements.

Back in March, UberX, Lyft, and Sidecar started offering their services in Tacoma, home to just over 200,000 residents. At the time, the city did not have any additional regulatory requirements for UberX, Lyft and Sidecar other than a general City business license for transportation services. Now, though, they’ll be able to operate legally in the city.

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