Today Seattle’s City Council voted to put a cap on ride-sharing services — specifically, on the number of drivers services like Sidecar, UberX, and Lyft can have in operation at any given moment. This vote was a preliminary one, 5 to 4 in favor of the cap, and will be confirmed by the final vote set to take place next month.
Advocates for both sides of the issue have been vocal in the city, but ultimately the decision currently stands to keep the cap in place. The services — which aren’t pleased with the decision — are limited to 150 drivers on the road at any given time. The cap is per-service, so while there will still be a few hundred drivers out and about for the services, their threat to traditional transportation options will be limited.
Said Uber’s Seattle General Manager Brooke Steger to VentureBeat: “It is extremely disappointing that the Seattle City Council Committee on Taxi, For-hire and Limousine Regulations has chosen to ignore the tens of thousands of their constituents who support UberX and, instead, decided it is a good policy to protect the taxi industry and effectively shut down UberX in Seattle as we know it. This decision will put hundreds of small businesses out of work and leave them without an opportunity to earn a living.”
Uber in particular has gotten on local’s bad sides with some marketing tactics it has been performing in the city — namely, gluing large posters to local utility boxes in violation of several requirements and automated robocalls to residents. This isn’t the first time Uber’s marketing tactics have come under fire, with the service getting on the bad side of Gett using a so-called “DDoS-style attack”.