The Seattle City Council is trying to determine how it should handle new rideshare companies that compete with taxis. Council members told a packed meeting Thursday they are leaning towards embracing — and regulating — them.
For months now, tensions have been brewing between Seattle taxi drivers and ridesharing services like Uber-X, Sidecar and Lyft. Seattle cab drivers (who are heavily regulated by the city) claim ridesharing services have an advantage since they’re not subject to the same rules and regulations.
So this summer, the city commissioned a $100,000 study to determine the demand for taxis, rideshares, for-hires and limousines. What did the study find? And how will the results inform how the city proceeds? Seattle City Council President Sally Clark joins us with the results.
You may have seen cars driving around the Seattle area with oversized, hot pink moustaches on their front grills. Those moustaches are trademarks for a new car service company called Lyft, one of several ride-sharing services now operating in the city. Think of them like Airbnb, but with a car and a driver. Lyft, Uber X and Sidecar allow laypeople to use their own cars and act as cabbies. The services are expanding in Seattle, and they’re drawing increased scrutiny from the cab industry, as well as from regulators and policymakers. Some officials say the businesses are illegal.