The Mayor’s office says they’ve worked out a deal with various stakeholders to remove the caps on drivers for services like Uber and Lift. Key terms of the deal, from Mayor Murray’s office:
- Transportation network companies and their drivers will be licensed and required to meet specific insurance requirements.
- The City will work with the industry to clarify or change state insurance law to account for recent changes in the industry, similar to recent actions in Colorado.
- There will be no cap on the number of transportation network company drivers.
- The City will provide 200 new taxi licenses over the next four years.
- Taxi and for-hire licenses will transition to a property right that is similar to a medallion in other cities.
- For-hire drivers will have hailing rights.
- An accessibility fund will be created through a $0.10 per ride surcharge for drivers and owners to offset higher trip and vehicle costs for riders who require accessibility services.
Just like with the minimum wage hike, Murray’s proven adept at a “Ducks Unlimited“-style approach to getting consensus by giving everyone something. The 200 new licenses and hailing rights for for-hire drivers were both part of the City Council bill back in March that instituted the caps. It’s not clear to me if this deal is 200 more licenses on top of the 200 proposed in March. I’ll have to get confirmation on that. But the main deal-sweetener for the taxi drivers is ownership rights and the fund for accessibility services.
The proposal will now go to the city council for approval.