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Seattle City Council OKs measure on for-hire car services, taxi cabs

MAG_LYFT

A Lyft Ride-share car. File photo.

SEATTLE — The Seattle City Council on Monday approved a deal brokered by Mayor Ed Murray with the  taxi industry and for-hire driver services such as Uber and Lyft.

A group of taxi owners, dispatch companies, for-hire owners and drivers and transportation network companies convened on April 16 to come up with a plan to save both for-hire services and taxi services as the two had been fighting for months. The group came to an agreement recently that seemed to please a majority of parties; that’s what was approved by the City Council Monday.

The deal is for all for-hire companies to continue operating without a cap placed on the number of drivers on the road at any time. Previously, the Seattle City Council had maintained a cap on the number of for-hire drivers, only allowing 150 active drivers on the road at any given time.

Other key terms of the proposed deal include:

  • 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.
  • 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.

“Today’s Council vote was one for the history books,” Murray said in a news release. “I want to thank the Seattle City Council for repealing the initial for-hire legislation last week and today voting in favor of maintaining the principles of the legislation I recently transmitted: balancing the legitimate interests of all sides, protecting public safety, and promoting access to a broad array transportation options in Seattle.

“I am also grateful to all parties across the transportation industry who participated in creating this framework. Your hard work and spirit of compromise led to the agreement we developed together which will enable all parties in the industry to compete fairly to serve the needs of the public. We could not have done this without your participation.”

Murray said the deal wasn’t easy to come to, but fairly compensates drivers and owners alike. Representatives from different sides came praised the deal.

“The taxi industry is pleased that we can now compete and will soon offer mobile app technology,” Amin Shifow, a wheelchair-accessible taxi operator, said.

“The For Hire drives 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,” Abdul Yusuf, a member of the For Hire Drivers and Owners Association, said.

 

 

 

3 comments

  • ALI

    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 L.A. 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 disappointed :)

  • Evenlynn

    Anybody skeptical of Lyft should try the service first for FREE

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

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