SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL: A base fare for rideshare? Council president Bruce Harrell's committee is considering a resolution that would support a base fare for transportation network companies like Uber as well as for-hire and taxicab companies. (Uber has been heavily lobbying against the change, and sent out an email to Uber users that claimed the policy would double their fares.)
Council member Mike O'Brien yesterday offered an amendment that demands companies provide the council data from last year—number of hours the driver worked, what they charged, duration of the trips, and total compensation for every driver—by May 31. If they don't, council members could consider legislation requiring it.
"I've talked to drivers...that said they're making a lot of money. They're having a great time," Harrell said. "I've talked to other people who are saying that in the last two years, they're really, really struggling. So we're getting all this anecdotal information." Harrell said council members have been asking TNCs for this information for weeks.
Downtown congestion. "The reality is, we are going to have a very constrained downtown service system for the next three to five years," said acting SDOT director Goran Sparrman during O'Brien's sustainability committee. As traffic comes off the SR 99 project, that'll lead to more buses competing for roadway space downtown until expanded light rail takes some of that restraint off.
THE MAYOR: Ahead of a press conference Wednesday morning, The Seattle Times broke the news that Mayor Jenny Durkan wants to toll city roadways to reduce carbon emissions and congestion, and for the system to be in place by the end of her first term in 2021. That could mean putting it to a city vote.
Other good reads:
-University of Washington Medicine is considering shuttering its psychiatric unit as the state still struggles with a mental health crisis, The Stranger reported.
-The Seattle Times reported another budget buster—Sea-Tac airport's new facility for international arrivals.
-It's the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. Read Joe Copeland's column on the country's selective memory when it comes to civil rights, or Jerry Large's column on Seattle's continuing battle with inequality, or Georgia McDade's column on what's changed and what we still have left to accomplish since.
Updated 9:41am on April 5: A quote by Harrell mistakenly included the word "not" when referring to Uber drivers who say they're making a lot of money. I apologize for the error.