Seattle taxi drivers protest unregulated car services

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 17, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 17 at 5:37 PM

Seattle taxi drivers took to the streets Monday with a loud protest against unregulated car services.

We take a ride with Yellow Cab driver Salah Mohamed, who is licensed with the state and the city.

Mohamed pockets about $2,000 a month, but his business is slipping away.

"Business is down 40%," he said.

His fellow cab drivers are hurting too.  On Monday they staged a noisy, horn-honking protest around Seattle City Hall and delivered petitions to Mayor Mike McGinn's office.

"We want a level playing field," they chanted.

In the past two years, competing car services have popped up in Seattle.  Most are unregulated and some operate illegally.

"The enforcement is not here and those drivers, they know there is no enforcement in the city," said Mohamed.

Mohamed complains that towncars, which are not allowed to solicit passengers on the streets, park in front of hotels and the ferry terminal to get customers.

"That's breaking the law," according to Mohamed.

When KING 5 stopped to talk to some towncar drivers, they scattered and would not consent to interviews.

The Seattle City Council is doing a study on cabs, towncars and other car services. The first phase will be finished next month.

 
 

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