June 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM
Taxis, ride-share companies compete for business
City should ease taxi regulations
Seattle allows only 688 taxis to operate, even as the population grows. If the city had the same regulatory approach to coffee, there would be only a few dozen Starbucks locations in Seattle, each charging $20 for a lukewarm latte from an indifferent barista in a shabby store. [“Editorial: Ride-sharing services should be regulated,” Opinion, June 20].
Instead of inhibiting innovative new competitors such as Uber with the same regulations, why not level the playing field by easing taxi regulations? I am interested in safe, clean, fast, reliable transportation, which Uber has always provided to my family. Each ride and driver is publicly rated by the consumer, for accountability. Being “taken for a ride” on an unnecessarily long route, as has happened to me in taxis, is unlikely — a GPS map of your actual route is emailed to you immediately after the ride.
Background checks, chauffeur licenses and vehicle/driver insurance are enough. We are talking about being driven from your house to a restaurant in town, something we allow 16-year-olds to do every day. It’s not brain surgery.
This is all about protecting an entrenched taxi monopoly. Don’t believe for a minute that public safety is the top priority for city leaders.
Steven Adler, Seattle
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