Seattle Caps Number of Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar Drivers

Seattle is the first city in the country to limit the number of transportation network drivers allowed on the road at any given moment. The new regulation is a setback for companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar and a major victory for cab companies.
March 19, 2014, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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“The new law would limit three companies — UberX, Lyft and Sidecar — to 150 drivers each on the road at any given time, for a collective total of 450 drivers. That’s a significant decrease from the 2,000 drivers the three companies estimate they have operating in the city right now,” reports Reid Wilson.

Cab companies in Seattle argued that transportation network companies have saturated the market, leaving them at a significant disadvantage. To help cab companies gain the advantage back, the new legislation also allows for an additional 200 taxi licenses over the next two years. The city hasn’t issued a new license since 1990.

The article quotes Seattle Mayor Ed Murray saying that he will sign the legislation, but he does not believe it represents a long-term solution to the integration of transportation network companies into the city’s transportation system.

Seattle's decision is just the latest in an ongoing debate around the country about the extent to which cities can regulate transportation network companies. Meanwhile, recent analysis and arguments have criticized the inefficiencies of taxis and called for greater implementation of transportation networks. 

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Published on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 in The Washington Post
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