TCC Director Rob Johnson to run for City Council
Speaking of Seattle’s urbanist agenda, D.C. free market think tank R Street released a study this morning grading America’s largest 50 cities when it comes to regulations of new app-based ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. Seattle, thanks to Mayor Ed Murray’s recent deal to get rid of caps on ridehsare companies, was just one of 14 cities (along with Austin, Minneapolis, D.C., and San Francisco) to get an A.
The study also graded cities on taxi regulations and limo (or “for hire”) services. Seattle’s taxi industry got bad a D in R Street’s estimation for having supply caps and the inflationary “medallion” system; another part of Murray’s compromise was ceding to the taxi industry’s demand to make taxi licenses a tradeable commodity. R Street gave Seattle a B on its limo regulations, citing no metered fares and no minimum fares or waiting times as pluses.
The study didn’t take airport guidelines into account. Interestingly, the free market think tank acknowledged that stricter regulations “might make sense” at airports because customers at airports are a captive market.
Overall, Seattle’s combined “ride score” (the right’s rejoinder to “walk scores”?) was a B—82.7—with our D grade for taxis, 64.47, bringing down the score.
Of Murray’s Uber-friendly compromise deal (we got 100 on ridesharing), R Street analyst Andrew Moylan told Fizz he [Murray] “gave everybody what they wanted” which kept the taxi industry’s monopoly trappings too much in tact for R Street’s liking.