Lyft | KNKX

Lyft

uber car
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is releasing more details about proposals that would set a minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers and tax the companies to pay for transit, housing and driver protections.

Drivers for Uber and Lyft, organized by Teamsters 117 and the App-Based Drivers Association, gather Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at the ride-hailing waiting lot at Sea-Tac Airport to protest low pay by the platforms.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

A few dozen drivers for Uber and Lyft gathered Wednesday morning at Sea-Tac Airport to talk about low pay in advance of Uber's highly anticipated initial public offering later this week.

An Uber driver parks at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in 2016.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Representatives of Uber and Lyft told the King County Council this week that their drivers have to pass rigorous background checks. They spoke during a council briefing Monday, amid sexual assault charges against a ride share driver who is accused of raping a woman in a SeaTac hotel last month. 

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Monday in two lawsuits against Seattle's law allowing drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft to unionize.

The lawsuits were dismissed by a District Court judge in August. But both groups are appealing to let the lawsuits proceed. 

Lyft, Uber Drivers May Face Fingerprint Background Checks

Feb 5, 2018

Uber and Lyft drivers may soon have to undergo tougher background checks in Washington state. Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would require drivers to pass a fingerprint background check before being allowed to operate.

Simone Alicea / KNKX

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a law that would allow for-hire drivers, including drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft, to unionize in Seattle.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik's granted a preliminary injunction Tuesday stopping continued implementation of the law until two lawsuits make their way through court.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are now working as contractors for the rapidly growing ride-hailing industry, specifically for the largest companies, Uber and Lyft. But a new survey, released this week, finds that Lyft, with its fluorescent pink mustache symbol, is more popular with drivers.

Uber and Lyft are gradually expanding their coverage in the Pacific Northwest beyond the major metro areas. Uber launched its smartphone ride-booking service in Kennewick and Yakima, Washington, last week and similar-sized Oregon cities may get their shot in 2017.

One woman holds up an "Every Driver Counts" sign while another holds one that says "$15 and a Union" at a packed meeting about for-hire driver unionization at Seattle City Hall.
Simone Alicea / knkx

More than 200 people gathered at Seattle City Hall Tuesday afternoon to talk about how drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft could potentially unionize.

The hearing was held to talk about draft rules the city released a couple weeks ago regarding an ordinance the Seattle City Council passed last year.  

Jeff Chiu / AP

Two recent studies from the University of Washington provide some insight into the ways drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft may discriminate against certain passengers in the Seattle area.

Researchers say there's good news and there's bad news. In one study published in this month's Journal of Transportation Geography, researchers found that app-based ride-hailing service was actually faster in lower-income neighborhoods.

As Pierce Transit rebuilds from deep recession-era cuts, agency leaders hope free car rides to the bus stop could expand ridership. 

Pierce Transit, Washington's second-largest transit agency, received a $205,000 federal grant this month to cover rides from app services like Uber or Lyft -- or conventional taxi companies -- to and from certain transit centers. 

In this March 14, 2014, file photo, Jerad Bernard hands out cards to passers-by offering one free ride through the Lyft ridesharing service in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / AP

The Seattle City Council has extended the deadline for the city to figure out out how to implement a law allowing drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft to unionize.

The City Council approved the ordinance last year and tasked the city Department of Finance and Administrative Services with determining the rules for how drivers and unions could work together.

After voters in Austin, Texas, rejected a proposal for loosened regulations on ride-hailing apps, both Uber and Lyft have announced they will be "pausing" operations in the city.

In late 2015, Austin's City Council approved an ordinance requiring companies like Uber and Lyft to be regulated like taxis. That meant, among other things, drivers would have to be fingerprinted as part of a background check.

In this March 14, 2014, file photo, Jerad Bernard hands out cards to passers-by offering one free ride through the Lyft ridesharing service in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / AP

As people increasingly use Uber instead of taking a taxi or riding the bus, cities such as Tacoma and Seattle have created new regulations to cover the ride-app companies. On Tuesday, Tacoma’s City Council will consider a measure to streamline its licensing process as a way to reduce the burden for city staff.

Under the proposed measure, Tacoma would still require drivers for Uber and other ride-hailing companies to get licensed by the city. But the city would no longer issue drivers a picture identification card or a decal to put on their car.

In this March 14, 2014, file photo, Jerad Bernard hands out cards to passers-by offering one free ride through the Lyft ridesharing service in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / AP

Ask any parent about their biggest challenge — it’s all about the logistics. How to get Suzy to ballet when Johnny has soccer? And your teenager won’t be caught dead in the car you’re driving. But there’s a tempting solution.

Moms of even very young kids find themselves joking about it, but some parents of older kids are actually doing it. They’re relying on rideshare companies — like Uber — to get their kids home from that party Friday night.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

UPDATE: In its meeting Monday, the Seattle City Council voted 8-0 to approve a measure that allows drivers for ride-hailing companies to unionize.

Seattle’s City Council will take up an ordinance on Monday that lawyers say is unprecedented. The council is scheduled to vote on whether to allow drivers for ride-hailing companies such as Uber to form unions and collectively bargain for better pay. 

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

The Seattle City Council will consider a pilot program to regulate rideshare services with training and insurance requirements, as well as a cap on the number of licenses. 

App-based services like Sidecar, UberX and Lyft are becoming common alternatives to using taxis. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, says Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien.

"Technology and new ideas have fundamentally changed the way we all think about transportation, and that’s just part of the reality going forward," O'Brien said.

Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

Click here or scroll down for full comparison chart >>>

It used to be if you wanted to get around town or to the airport and didn’t have a car, you’d take public transit or call a cab. But in the last six months, new options have popped up—rideshare services.

I decided to take these services for a test drive, with the help of KPLU news intern Simone Alicea.