Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Seattle city council legalizes Uber, Lyft, Sidecar without caps

Previously there were limits on the number of cars allowed on the road

Article comments

Seattle city council members voted Monday to legalize ride-hailing apps like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, despite concerns from one council member about the adequacy of insurance coverage provided by the companies.

The council voted 8-1 in favor of legislation that would create a new regulatory framework for the companies, which the city calls "transportation network companies."

In March, Seattle approved laws putting a cap on the number of vehicles that TNCs could operate on the road at any one time. But that ordinance was subsequently suspended, with Mayor Ed Murray bringing together the industry, including traditional taxi operators, and legislators, to reach a deal.

Monday's vote paves the way for ride-summoning apps to operate in the city without caps. Council members generally agreed that their services were important for helping to bring new transportation options to the city.

"I'm interested in seeing how this legislation helps this city become a better city," said council member Bruce Harrell.

Council member Mike O'Brien, the sole dissenting voter, said issues around safety and insurance still need to be worked out. His amendment, which would have required startups to offer exclusive insurance coverage at all times, failed to pass. Uber, Lyft and Sidecar recently expanded their insurance policies, but only during the periods between rides.

O'Brien argued that wasn't enough and said there is still confusion about when drivers' personal insurance kicks in, if ever.

"There are still lots of problems with this," he said at the hearing. "It's not a question of whether Uber and Lyft can afford to innovate. The question is, 'Do we ask them to provide coverage at their expense, or do we put people at risk?'"

Regulators' response to new ride-summoning services is a perennial challenge as they enter new cities. Lyft last week had planned to launch in New York City, but regulators there moved to block it. Those plans are now in flux as Lyft tries to adjust its service to comply with local laws.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *