Seattle looks to hail feedback for taxi and car service survey

Well, *somebody* found a cab on Capitol Hill (Image: CHS)

Well, *somebody* found a cab on Capitol Hill (Image: CHS)

Part of a two-phase demand survey, the Seattle City Council wants your feedback on a staple industry of Capitol Hill: cabs, for hire vehicles including new-fangled offerings like UberSidecar and Lyft, and town cars.

A group called the Tennessee Transportation & Logistics Foundation is collecting the cabbie surveys for the City of Seattle and King County in association with a group called Taxi Research Partners. The answers you give on the questionnaire will help the City Council’s “Taxi, For-Hire and Limousine Regulations Committee to improve taxis and similar services,” according to a council release.

CHS gave their survey a look through – taking us about 10 minutes to complete – and found questions revolved around taxis, for hire vehicles, town cars/limos and how often people use them and for what. Some find the survey set-up biased against car services. Let us know if you agree.

Some questions CHS noted on the survey include:

  • Have you used a Taxi, For Hire Vehicle or Limousine/Town Car in Seattle or elsewhere in King County within the last 12 months?
  • Have you used a for hire vehicle?
  • How easy is it to get a ride from a Taxi, For Hire Vehicle or Limousine/ Town Car in Seattle or elsewhere in King County?
  • How long do you think you SHOULD wait to be picked up catching a ride from a bar at midnight on a weekend?

Not too bad right? If you are interested in providing your own feedback the survey can be found here. 

The collected feedback will be presented to the City Council in August ending the first phase of the survey. The council will ultimately “study the effectiveness of the current regulatory environment for taxi and for-hire services in the region and analyze how alternate models of regulation would affect key stakeholders,” the release adds. But the council doesn’t plan on making recommendations until phase two wraps.

Originally having two to four street surveyors on a given day, the research group has now moved data collection entirely online. The group Taxi Research Partners — working as an associate on the survey — specialize in transportation analysis according to their website.  The site adds the group has “unrivaled experience in delivering unique analysis focused on demand assessment, market reviews and GIS modeling for national, regional and city administrations worldwide.”  The City’s release expands on the operation:

Tennessee Transportation & Logistics Foundation (TTLF), in association with Taxi Research Partners, is performing the survey on behalf of the City and the County. The City Council’s Committee on Taxi, For-Hire and Limousine Regulations is working with the Department of Finance and Administrative Services to study the existing market for taxi, for-hire and limousine services, the current approach to the regulation of these services and potential modifications to this regulatory structure.

6 thoughts on “Seattle looks to hail feedback for taxi and car service survey

  1. That’s not the most biased political survey I’ve taken, but it’s right up there. I unloaded an earful in the “additional comments” section.

    The county needs to end the monopoly on cab pickups at the airport. The county needs to end the restricted number of taxi medallions. A compromise position could be that owner-drivers and employee-owned driver coops get medallions outside the restricted number.

    It’s stupid that Yellow Cab uses it’s Prius cabs for airport pickups. The Priuses should stay in the city, because they are best at city driving, and use the traditional gasoline powered cabs at the airport, since everyone hailing a cab at the airport immediately gets on the freeway, which is where a Prius’s environmental advantage goes negative.

    Seattle cabs need to get onto UberCab and to TaxiMagic. I love the “step out and go”, and not have to stop, block traffic or block parking on the street or at the airport while futzing around with a credit card to pay the fare. At least the cabs are starting to use SquareUp, so I don’t have to worry about losing the receipt.

    • The Prius is still more fuel efficient on the highway than the old Crown Vics. The Prius’s i’ve taken from the airport are getting about 35mpg on I-5 whereas the Crown Vics may be getting 20.

      Also, people don’t get out of their taxi’s at exit ramps, they take taxi’s deep into the cities and neighborhoods where the Prius is at it’s prime. What do you expect, people to transition from Crown Vic’s to Prius at off ramps? The Prius makes perfect sense for airport to door service.

      I agree with your other points.

  2. Thanks for posting this, I took the survey and agreed that it was biased towards taxi service. I too unloaded an earful in the comments section of the survey. The main benefits of Uber over Taxi service were not addressed by this survey, mainly that Uber offers quicker service, way quicker. Like lightening speed, most of the time. Uber offers guaranteed service, so you don’t have to sit on the curb and wait so someone else doesn’t steal the cab you called and waited for. Uber uses credit cards where taxi drivers huff and puff if you want to use a credit card. And, not the least, Uber cars are clean and don’t smell like smoke. I understand that it’s unfair that taxi service is regulated while other services are less regulated. But change happens, and I’m hoping this all results in better service from taxis and a continuation of our great service from Uber.

  3. As a cabdriver for seven years, I understand your frustrations. We drivers are frustrated as well. There is no scarcity of taxi cabs in Seattle. We run all the time empty and the customers are waiting us somewhere we don’t know. Yellow cab puts zero values in customer services. If you would go into their dispatch center and observe their computers, you will be surprised. I don’t even in the villagers in China don’t use them.
    We, drivers don’t like credit cards, because the system is very slow and we have to process it on the roadway. we don’t have any special privileges and the police ticket us all the time for that reason. Also it takes to get cash a week and there is hefty fee. Is short it is pain. I know you as a customer have nothing to with this.
    It is the management of the company that puts no effort to improve service; that creates a false demand and complain their poor management because there are other alternatives emerging….