On June 16, Seattle mayor Ed Murray announced a deal that could shape the future of the city’s taxi industry for years to come.
The agreement is the result of negotiations between representatives of the taxi industry, including the Teamsters and the WWTCOA, the for-hires, the TNCs, and the City.
Taking part in the negotiations were Dawn Gearhart and Tracey Thompson from the Teamsters, Salah Mohamed of the WWTCOA, Amien Shifow representing WAT, and Anmol Cheema representing the lease drivers.
Our taxi team approached the negotiations with four objectives in mind:
- To level the playing field so that taxis would have the opportunity to compete with TNCs;
- To get financial support for wheelchair accessible taxis so that Seattle’s disabled citizens have access to transportation;
- To give taxi drivers who have driven for many years but do not own a taxi cab the opportunity to obtain a license;
- To protect the investment that taxi owners have made by preserving the traditional taxicab brand.
- We were able to achieve these goals and more!
The next step in the process is to get the deal through the City Council. Your participation in hearings that will take place over the next few months will be critical!
Highlights of the agreement
- 10 new taxi stands to be established over the next year for taxi use only;
- 200 new taxi licenses issued over the next three years;
- A fund to offset higher operating fees for wheelchair accessible cabs;
- The same insurance, licensing, training, inspections, and background checks as the TNCs;
- Elimination of English-language testing and uniform requirements;
- Medallions as a property right for taxi owners!