Below is the letter I wrote to the Seattle city council members about the proposed regulation of ridesharing services they will be voting on tomorrow.
city council members,
I am a resident and registered voter in Seattle. I want to share with you my thoughts on your proposal for regulating rideshare services that you will be voting on tomorrow.
I've been using #Uber
fairly often over the last year. I want to share with you a comparison of my experience using both Uber and the city taxis.
- When I want a ride with Uber, I open my phone and click a button. The Uber app shows me a picture of the driver that's picking me up, the make, model and license plate number for the car, and an average rating given by other riders with this driver. Within a few minutes, my car arrives.
- When I want a ride with a regular #taxi
, I either have to call their dispatch number of hail a taxi from the street. When I've called the dispatch number in the past, it has taken up to 45 minutes for a taxi to arrive.
- Uber drivers are well-dressed, professional, speak english well, drive safely, and know where things are in the city. If they weren't good drivers, they would get low ratings and Uber would let them go.
- I've had several bad experiences with taxi drivers. They often don't speak english well, don't know where anything is in the city, don't drive safely, and spend the entire time talking on the phone while I'm in the car.
- When I reach my destination in an Uber car, I get out and walk away. Uber charges my credit card later.
- When I reach my destination in a taxi, I have to wait for the driver to tell me my fare. Often times, there wasn't even a meter running while I was in the car and the driver makes up a fare number. Most drivers try and tell me their credit card machine is not working. When I tell them I don't have cash, it magically starts working again. I've had to wait up to 20 minutes for the driver to charge my credit card.
- During peak hours, Uber uses surge pricing. On a Saturday night at midnight, you will have to pay more to get an Uber car. This is classic supply and demand. More people want rides, raising the price. The increased price encourages more drivers to get out on the road. I know with Uber that I can always have a ride available when I need it, even if I have to pay more.
- With taxis, if I call for one on Saturday at midnight, I'll wait over an hour for a ride, if they show up at all. I can stand on the street trying to hail one, but that often fails. I can't rely on taxi services to give me a ride when I need it during busy times.
The taxi companies in the city are using an antiquated business model and consistently provide subpar service. Uber is breathing innovation and a fresh perspective into the market. It's not surprising that they're thriving.
I'm not against regulation, but limiting Uber to 150 cars will cause them to shut down services in the city. You need to propose regulation that is beneficial to city residents and allows rideshare companies to continue operation. You need to do better. *When you go up for re-election, I will be voting against any city council member who passes regulation that causes Uber to shut down or significantly disrupt its services.*
Thanks for your service to our city and for considering my plea,