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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Taxis, ride-share companies compete for business

City should ease taxi regulations

Taxi cabs outside the Columbia Center along Fifth Avenue and Cherry Street in 2008. [Mike Siegel, The Seattle Times.]

Taxi cabs outside the Columbia Center along Fifth Avenue and Cherry Street in 2008. [Mike Siegel, The Seattle Times.]

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

Comments | More in Seattle | Topics: driver, regulation, ride-share

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