(CBS Seattle) — Seattle cab drivers say new ride sharing programs are taking away business and they want the city to level the playing field. They say the city is allowing ride share companies like Sidecar and Lyft to operate illegally.
According to KIRO TV, cab drivers are taking a petition with 500 signatures to Mayor Mike McGinn’s office Monday to ask the city to start regulating the ride share companies. In order to get a city license, cab drivers have to get permits, pay annual fees and have their cars inspected. Sidecar and Lyft (the ones with the pink mustaches) operate without these permits. The apps tap in to a user’s location to find a nearby car; payment for a ride is usually just a suggested donation. The drivers at Lyft and Sidecar can be anyone with a car who is willing to pick up a stranger; Lyft’s website describes it as “social transportation.” Cab drivers say these companies are costing them a lot of money. One cab driver tells KIRO he loses about $100 a day to ride share companies.
Seattle only gives out 200 licenses for taxis and town cars, and according to KIRO, the city may be considering increasing the number of licenses it issues.
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