Alarming, given what my sources have told me, concerning what is going on and being discussed during ongoing negotiations between Uber and other interested parties. As I have noted previously, there are no active taxi drivers on the committee, meaning we have been completely shut out. Hired lobbyists and Union reps should not be doing our talking. They do not speak "taxi," that difficult and sometimes indecipherable language. Some major points upon the bargaining table:
The flat rate for hire industry will be given equal status to taxi cabs, meaning they will have all on-street privileges, including sitting on our stands.
All taxi-owner leased City of Seattle taxi licenses will become "real property" medallions.
300 new taxi licenses---soon to be medallions----will be released, this a change from the originally mentioned 200.
No limit on rideshare (TNC) cars. This is nothing new given the cap was never a hard cap, allowing unlimited TNC companies to be created.
Understand that all I have just reported should be considered rumor until confirmed. What appears to be happening is that Mayor Murray is attempting to placate everyone.
Don't be fooled is all I can say. What they are doing is a complete de-facto deregulation of Seattle's taxi industry. That is what is going on and nothing else. Do you really want to be saddled with all the inherent expenses of taxi ownership and not be able to pay your bills? Be forewarned before you sign on to something you will truly regret.
Pete Holmes in Denver, Colorado
A taxi colleague working Denver's streets sent me a photograph of Seattle's City Attorney's business card. He quotes Mister Holmes as saying Seattle enforcement will be starting soon. I certainly hope that is true, perhaps implying or hinting there is a serious division between the various parts of City government on what to do concerning Uber, Lyft and Sidecar.
Miami and Dade County are now impounding Lyft cars. Nothing, and I repeat nothing has ever prevented Seattle and King County from doing the same. And Mister Holmes might be astonished at my network of taxi spies! Watch out as we are out there, our own modest version of the Federal NSA! Obama would be proud. God! maybe one day, just like the Seahawks, we will be invited to the Whitehouse. Of course it will have to be repainted Yellow on that special day. I can't wait! I would even take my once yearly shower.