On August 5, 2011, Vince Houmes of Sightline Institute, an independent, nonprofit research and communications center in the Northwest, wrote:
"Plentiful, affordable taxis facilitate greener urban travel. They help families shed second cars, ride transit more often, and walk to work on could-be-rainy days. They fill gaps in transit systems and provide a fallback in case of unexpected events."
Currently in Seattle, 243 county-licensed cabs are prohibited from picking up passengers in the city of Seattle, even if they are hailed after dropping off a passenger downtown. Meanwhile, 220 dual-licensed “Yellow Cab” taxis are choosing not to operate in the city because it is more profitable for drivers to deny consumers a short fare and return to the airport to pick up arriving passengers. As a result consumers are frustrated and confused, wait times are longer, and competitors are not permitted to offer a timely service.
Who is waiting for taxi service? Tourists visiting Seattle’s landmarks and cultural institutions, patrons leaving a bar, urban residents who need help with groceries, and the elderly visiting their doctors.
Seattle needs more reliable and timely taxi service. Please redistribute taxi licenses by issuing city-endorsed taxi licenses to all 243 county license holders—for the benefit of consumers, businesses, and the city of Seattle.