In a move that likely paves the way for Mayor Ed Murray’s vision for how rideshares like Lyft, UberX and SideCar will soon operate in Seattle, today the City Council repealed an ordinance passed earlier this year that capped the number of active drivers operating at one time for each service at 150. By a vote of 6-3, the move came as no surprise given the traction and momentum the Murray rideshare plan has gained.
As Geekwire’s Taylor Soper reported, “The council will convene again next Monday to discuss and potentially approve the new agreement, which will legalize the San Francisco-based startups — also known as transportation network companies (TNCs) — while enforcing insurance requirements and adding new taxi licenses.”
“I would like to signal to the industry that we are serious about a solution,” Councilmember Sally Bagshawn commented on today’s vote, according to Geekwire.
Apparently, the message has been received:
Thx to @SeattleCouncil for repealing the ordinance that caps the # of vehicles on the system! New ordinance w/ no caps will be voted for Mon
— Uber Seattle (@Uber_SEA) July 7, 2014
The three Council members who voted against the repeal were Mike O’Brien, Kshama Sawant, and Nick Licata. Predictably, Sawant likened the rideshare companies to Walmart and Amazon - well-financed behemoths looking to kill small businesses. O’Brien, meanwhile, didn’t want to rush to repeal the legislation with a lawsuit filed by taxi drivers still pending in King County Court.