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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

After Lengthy Battle, Seattle Regulates Its Rideshares

Posted by on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 9:30 AM

  • Hawk Krall

It's one of the most contentious topics the Seattle City Council has faced this year: how to regulate new "rideshare" companies like Lyft, Sidecar, and uberX. On March 17, the council finally passed compromise legislation that fails to make anyone truly happy and gives everyone something to complain about. Success!

According to the legislation, which passed unanimously, app-based rideshare companies will each be subject to a cap of 150 drivers who can be active at any one time. The law also creates insurance and safety standards and opens up 200 more taxi licenses over two years.

Taxi drivers, who have long claimed the rideshares are crushing their business, are frustrated to be facing 450 new competitors. And the rideshare companies are furious that they'll be subject to these limits at all. Uber says that "by restricting uberX to 150 cars, this law will deal a devastating blow to uberX by forcing a vast majority of the almost 1,000 active drivers off of the system. Once enforced, uberX will be instantly unusable for tens of thousands of riders."

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