The councilmembers’ discussion highlighted the divisive issues stirred by the new TNCs which allow riders to use their smartphones to summon and pay for rides by freelance drivers in their own cars.
“The fact is, no matter how great, sexy and cool these app services are, they are unlawful in the city of Seattle,” said councilmember Bruce Harrell.TNCs being Seattle-speak for Transportation Networking Companies, which are currently, UberX, Lyft, and Sidecar that organizer private car owners who offer rides to people without cars. They are opposed by the usual suspects; the taxi industry. For perfectly understandable, rent-seeking reasons; to prevent competition.
But this is the home of the most competitive of them all, SuperBowl Champs;
TNC companies lobbied heavily against any limitations. Lyft held rallies outside City Hall. Uber drove around trucks with giant billboards, robocalled Seattle residents and plastered utility boxes with posters. Celebrities like rapper Macklemore and Seahawks players Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Sidney Rice tweeted messages of support, which Uber said were not paid endorsements.The TNCs say that the final passage of this ordinance will be the legion of doom; they'll pull out of Seattle altogether.