City of Seattle to consider proposed rules for ride sharing

SEATTLE -- The City of Seattle has proposed new regulations for ride sharing services around the city that could impact how you get around town.

The city council meets Friday morning to discuss how to start regulating this growing industry and companies like Uber X, Lyft and Sidecar aren't happy about.

"It puts the transportation in the city of Seattle at risk, there will be less choice for the people of Seattle and their ability to get around the city will be greatly diminished," said Brooke Steger who is the general manager at Uber Seattle.

Under the proposed ordinance, riding sharing companies would have to obtain a $50,000 annual license and have no more than 100 vehicles driving a maximum of 16 hours per week.

"For Uber X this will almost shut us down if it's passed as is," said Steger who would only tell KOMO 4 News there are currently more than 100 cars on Seattle Streets for Uber X.

Seattle resident Christiana Obey started a petition in support of car sharing. She hopes to deliver more than 3000 signatures to the Seattle City Council Friday.

"I really rely on public transportation and ride sharing to get around Seattle," said Christiana Obey.

The 27 year old has epilepsy and is not able to obtain a driver license. On many days according to Obey, she relies on Lyft to get to work, the grocery store and even social events with friends.

"It's would be detrimental for me if ride sharing went away," said Obey.

But Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell says the city is trying to structure a safe environment for those providing rides to other people for pay.

The city wants more uniform regulations for taxis, limos, for-hire and ride-sharing businesses.

"In short we're trying to create a system that's safe for the consumer and rates that are very reasonable to the consumer," said Bruce Harrell.

But for Seattle's 688 licensed cab drivers, the new competition has taken a toll on profits.

"Before business was really good," said Seattle Taxi Cab Driver Davinder Singh. "Now the business is like half."

The city council will be taking up the issue during a committee meeting Friday morning which is open to the public