Seattle Uber, Lyft win council vote

by: Essex Porter Updated:

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SEATTLE - Rideshare companies Uber and Lyft cemented their victory at Seattle City Hall today.

The City Council took a final vote lifting the limits on the number of rideshare vehicles on the street.

Taxi companies were split on the compromise negotiated by Mayor Ed Murray.

Critics say it will flood the marketplace with drivers and none will be able to make a decent living.

 “This is a life and death issue both for the economics of the taxi cab industry and our drivers," said Chris Van Dyk, general manager of Green Cabs.

In nearly two hours of discussion, council members rejected many amendments, including tighter requirements for insurance.

"We're constantly focused on driving that level of safety up, the level of service up,” said Uber Seattle General Manager Brooke Steiger.

Council members voted 8-1 to lift the restrictions on rideshares and ease some of the regulations on taxis in order to help level the playing field. Only Council member Mike O’Brien voted no.