Seattle considers rideshare regulations

by: Chris Legeros Updated:


SEATTLE, Wash. - Taxis aren't the only way to get around these days. Pull out your smartphone, open an app, and a car from UberX, Lyft or Sidecar will pick you up. 

 Many cabbies complain their new competition is unlicensed and unregulated.

"They shouldn't even be on the streets, these people. They're uninsured. If someone gets hurt in an accident, they're going to sue the crap out of anybody, said Kriya Haran.

A Seattle City Council committee is looking at legislation that would regulate rideshare companies. It would require each one to have a $50,000 business license, vehicle inspections and insurance. Drivers would have to be trained, get a permit and undergo background checks. 

Uber's general manager sees nothing wrong with rules to protect the public.

"We are very much in support of safety. Safety has always been a top priority for us," said Brooke Steger said.

Uber already inspects vehicles, has insurance and does background checks on drivers. What bothers Steger is that the city would also limit her company to 100 vehicles, and drivers would only be allowed to work 16 hours a week.

She said her company has more than 100 drivers right now and the legislation would put them out of business.  

"To put this type of arbitrary limit on the number of hours someone can work and the number of vehicles that can be on the system is just extremely anti-competitive and anti-choice for the consumer here in Seattle," said Steger.