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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 18, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Taxis and ride-sharing companies compete for customers in Seattle

Ride-share cars and gypsy cabs are good for employment

Sylvester Bush, 50, of Renton is one of the first drivers for Lyft, a ride-sharing app that launched in Seattle last month. He puts the app's trademark pink mustache on the front of his car so that app users in downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill know he's their ride. [Greg Gilbert, The Seattle Times]

Sylvester Bush, 50, of Renton is one of the first drivers for Lyft, a ride-sharing app that launched in Seattle last month. He puts the app’s trademark pink mustache on the front of his car so that app users in downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill know he’s their ride. [Greg Gilbert, The Seattle Times]

Unregulated ride-share cars are competing with taxis in Seattle and the highly regulated, taxed and inspected cab companies are complaining of unequal treatment. [“Ride-share cars: illegal, and all over Seattle,” page one, June 17]

Seattle has a cap of 200 for-hire licenses. This is an expensive monopoly. Cabs are expensive because they are super-regulated. Rather then hyper-regulate the new ride-share cars, why not deregulate cabs and end the artificial cap on taxi licenses?

Let’s go further and legalize “gypsy cabs.” These are regular people who take their cars out, give people rides, and charge a fee. Legalizing gypsy cabs (and keeping ride-share companies lightly regulated) would create jobs. If you are restless and do not feel like watching TV some night, you could take your car out for a few hours and bring home $120.

Banning gypsy cabs is a classic example of how regulations cause unemployment. With gypsy cabs and ride-share cars, passengers could get around more cheaply by avoiding the taxi monopoly. Drunken driving also might be reduced by cheaper transportation.

Say “yes” to ride-share companies and gypsy cabs for less drunken driving and more jobs.

Jeff Jared, Kirkland

Comments | More in Seattle, Transportation | Topics: gypsy cab, regulation, ride-share

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