Licensing looms for ride-share drivers The ride-share saga continues as the Seattle City Council looks at imposing new regulations.
The days of unchecked ride-sharing could be nearing an end in Seattle. The three regulatory options the City Council will discuss at a meeting on Thursday would either use existing laws to put the kibosh on ride-share apps like Sidecar, Lyft and UberX, or require ride-share drivers to get city-issued licenses. The options are outlined in a document prepared by council staff and the Department of Finance and Administrative Services.
Sally Clark, chair of the Committee on Taxi, For-Hire and Limousine Regulations, said it is unlikely that ride-sharing will be able to continue in Seattle without some kind of city-issued license for drivers. “That is pretty hard for me to envision,” she said. “Because you’ve got what I think is a commercial endeavor.” Clark added that she would be open to the idea of creating a new type of license for ride-share drivers, with less stringent requirements than the ones imposed on for-hire drivers.
With the first option presented in the document, the city would more strictly enforce existing taxi and for-hire regulations “to close [ride-share] services that are now operating.” With the second, the city would require drivers to obtain standard, city-issued, for-hire vehicle and driver’s licenses. The third option would require drivers to obtain a for-hire driver’s license, or a special ride-sharing driver’s license, but would not require them to license their vehicles.
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