SUMMARY OF CITY OF SEATTLE ORDINANCE RELATED TO TNCS (TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES)
-- PASSED BY FULL COUNCIL March 17, 2014
The city of Seattle Council passed the ordinance 9-0 with no dissenting votes. The vote came after a special council committee spent more than a year delving into the issues of taxicabs, for hire vehicles (special flat rate vehicles in Seattle), limousines and TNCs. No one has declared victory, but the TNCs for the first time in the nation have had local government "caps" placed on them. The cap essentially limits the number of drivers that can be logged into their system at one time. There were several other important provisions that I will describe below:
The Council wrote that the "application dispatch technology by unlicensed companies, vehicles and drivers raises significant public safety and consumer protection concerns." The Council also declared the companies to be illegal with no license or regulatory oversight. The Council called for a pilot program and 100 new taxicab licenses per year for 2014 and 2015.
In this section, the Council defined a TNC (Transportation Network Company) driver as a for hire driver operating a for hire vehicle, meaning they can be regulated by the city. The Director of the city's office of Financial and Administrative services can issue a moratorium suspending the issuance of TNC licenses based on certain criteria.
"Compensation" -- "renumeration of anything of economic value that is provided, promised or donated in exchange for services rendered. Lyft voluntary donations are covered. The term transportation network company or TNC is added in places that previously said only taxicab and for hire vehicle. An extensive section was added describing TNCs and TNC drivers.
Makes it clear that nothing in the ordinance related to TNCs applies to taxicab associations, all taxicabs, all for hire vehicles and all for hire drivers operating in Seattle. TNCs are added to the section related to taxicab violations, making them subject to the same penalties as taxis and for hire vehicles. This essentially allows taxis and for hire vehicles to offer app services without becoming TNCs.
1) Issued by admitted carrier with A.M. Best Rating (A-VII);
2) Must notify Director of cancellation/non-renewal 30 days beforehand;
3) Not include self-insured retention, nonstandard deductibles, aggregate limits, territorial restrictions, names driver requirements or anything other policy limitation;
4) In the event of failure of the driver to maintain personal auto insurance covering commercial activity, the TNCs insurance will be exclusive and primary;
5) Must provide underinsured motorist coverage for bodily injury and property damages at $100,000 per person and $300,000 combined single limit of liability;
6) State of Washington for-hire certification for each TNC driver;
7) State of Washington vehicle registration for each vehicle affiliated with the TNC;
8) Certificate of 19-point inspection (to be detailed later);
9) Dispatch records identifying average, minimum, maximum number of drivers and dispatches on the TNC system per day for six months prior to the date of application (not applicable to TNCs not operating in Seattle already);
10) Any other information - must also be provided for each annual license renewal;
11) The city must be named "additional insured."
Changes to any of the above information must be submitted to the Director within 7 days.
TNC STANDARDS FOR APPLICATION OR RENEWAL DENIAL
- Applicant fails to submit proof of insurance;
- Applicant provides dispatch services to anyone other than TNC drivers who meet the standards in the ordinance;
- Applicant uses more than one application dispatch system;
- Applicant leases, permits or otherwise allows others to use the app dispatch system;
- Applicant affiliates with/provides app dispatch services to drivers without a for-hire license;
- Applicant affiliates with and provides app dispatch to unlicensed vehicle(s);
- – 9. Incomplete application, criminal activity, etc..
TNC OPERATING RESPONSIBILITIES
TNC must have a business office staffed all business days between 9 a.m. and 5 pm., a toll-free business telephone and passenger complaint hotline answered all hours TNCs are operating. In addition, the TNC must keep all records regarding divers, insurance, vehicles, etc and maintain them electronically. The TNC will also ensure that only 150 TNC endorsed drivers are active on the dispatch system at any one time. TNCs must also ensure their drivers are only paid electronically, do not pick up hails and ensure passengers see a picture of the driver and license plate number before the trip.
A year from the effective date of the ordinance the TNC must submit a report on violations, dispatch records, collision reports, response times, passenger complaints, etc... The TNC must notify the director of having knowledge of driver criminal offenses, accidents, license revocation, etc.. There are standards for TNC creation/maintenance of a website and report on serving persons with disabilities. A 19-point vehicle inspection is required of all TNC vehicles provided by a 3rd party vendor approved by the Director. The TNC must provide a written disclosure on insurance to TNC drivers.
TNC VEHICLE OPERATING REQUIREMENTS
Vehicles must be no more than 7 years old, have insurance (delineated previously), be affiliated with a TNC and the driver must have a for-hire license.
TNC VEHICLE ENDORSEMENT/ELIGIBILITY
Criteria for applying to be a TNC in Seattle.
TNC VEHICLE ENDORSEMENT STANDARDS FOR DENIAL
There is also a listing of criteria that can be used in the Director's discretion to deny a TNC vehicle endorsement.
TNC VEHICLE ENDORSEMENT EXPIRATION/RENEWAL
Endorsement for vehicle good for one year coinciding with for-hire driver's license renewal and renewals will be issued in a timely fashion so long as all penalties are paid.
Several changes will be made to the wheelchair taxi license provisions that were sought by wheelchair taxi license owners.
- Applicant failed to submit complete application;
- Applicant failed to affiliate with a licensesd TNC
- Applicant made misstatement or omission in endorsement application;
- Applicant fails to meet vehicle requirements;
- Within 3 years of application, conviction of criminal activity.
- First Class A in one year -- $35; 2nd -- $70; 3rd or more in one year -- $70;
- First Class B in one year -- $70; 2nd -- $175; 3rd or more in one year -- $120
- All Class C violations -- $1000.
DIRECTOR TNC MORATORIUM/REPORTING REQUIREMENTS