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June 20, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Chat rewind: Should ride-sharing services be regulated in Seattle?
We held a lively discussion Thursday afternoon on the issue of regulating ride-sharing services in Seattle like UBERx, Lyft and Sidecar.
Read our Thursday editorial. According to this Seattle Times news story by reporter Alexa Vaughn, these companies are filling a niche but operating illegally. The city’s taxi operators want the City of Seattle to take action.
I moderated the panel with two guests, Eastside for Hire’s Samatar Guled and Teamsters Local 117 Director of Organizing Leonard Smith. Guled represents for-hire drivers. Smith’s union represents owners and drivers in the Western Washington Taxicab Operators Association. Both agree ride-sharing services should be regulated, but they disagree on how the city should level the playing field for all drivers.
During the chat, we covered an array of topics:
- What’s the importance of regulations and licensing of taxi cabs and for-hire services by the city?
- Why is there a need to level the playing field?
- What should be done about the ride-sharing services like UBERx, Lyft and Sidecar?
- How do we ensure rider safety?
Thanks to all who participated in the chat, including users of these services. Below is a transcript of the hour-long online conversation.