After several delays, a study commissioned by the city to assess the real demand for taxis, for-hires, town cars and ride-shares is scheduled to drop (like it’s hot) tonight during a meeting of the City Council’s Committee on Taxi, For-Hire and Limousine Regulations. But lucky for us the Seattle Times has already gotten its hand on a copy!
The findings: Shockingly enough, there is more demand for these transportation services than previously thought (by the city, anyway). And of the transportation options available to Seattleites, many are flocking to app-based ride-shares like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar.
As Alexa Vaughn of the Seattle Times reports:
This year’s survey, to be presented Tuesday night at a City Council committee meeting, indicates there is more passenger-service demand than previously thought. But much of that demand is tied to increasing interest in alternatives to taxis.
“A large part of the market is now being served by limousines, for-hire vehicles and ‘rideshare” services,’ ” says one of the PowerPoint slides to be shown Tuesday. “The market for these services is growing rapidly, and vehicles in service are growing to meet it.”
The findings of the study - which, according to the Times, also found that the city-used metric of wait times “aren’t a sufficient metric for judging the need for additional passenger-service vehicles” - will be used by the council and the mayor’s office to regulate the industry moving forward. The city hasn’t issued a new taxi license in 23 years.
You can read my August cover story on Seattle’s upstart ride-shares here.