Wheelchair-accessible taxi legislation

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SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAOn August 12, the City Council passed legislation I sponsored regarding wheelchair-accessible taxis (WAT).

This legislation reduces the number of hours a WAT license holder must personally drive a vehicle from 40 to 30 hours per week. This legislation places the driving requirement in line with requirements for regular taxis. This struck me as an issue of basic fairness, especially since WAT drivers have more stringent requirements to obtain a license.

Wheelchair-accessible taxi drivers had requested a series of changes that I brought forward for discussion at the June 13 meeting of the Committee on Taxi, For-Hire and Limousine Regulations. The committee members agreed with this proposed change, but opted to consider the remaining requests as part of the broader work of the committee.

At the September 3 committee meeting, a demand study was presented, to assist the committee in its consideration of the regulatory structure of taxicabs in Seattle.