Seattle cabbies protest smart-phone, ride-sharing upstarts
Taxi drivers are upset about unlicensed ride-sharing companies in Seattle that they claim are undercutting their legal businesses.
Horns blaring, cabbies conducted a noisy protest outside city hall Monday afternoon and briefly clogged 4th Avenue.
The taxi drivers claim that the ride-sharing operations like Lyft, where customers can summon a ride by using a smart-phone application, are undercutting their businesses.
“These guys don’t have business licenses, the drivers, they don’t have proper insurance, they’re doing a tremendous bite into out business and undercutting our rates, that are regulated by the city and undercutting the safety of the public,” complained Mike Judd, who owns a Yellow Cab.
But one independent driver who showed up said that’s not the reason the cabbies are upset.
“The city has not issued a taxi license for over 23 years,” said Samatar Guled. “That is the real story and these guys they want to protect that monopoly.”
The City Council is conducting a customer survey this summer before considering any changes in taxi regulations.
A delegation of cab drivers marched to the mayor’s office to deliver a petition calling on the city to enforce the taxi rules that are on the books.