Cab ride to Sea-Tac will cost more

Jul 24, 2012

The rate for taking a taxi to Sea-Tac Airport from downtown Seattle is going up to $40.  That's an $8 increase from the previous flat rate of $32.

The Seattle City Council voted to raise metered cab fares because of a state requirement that drivers be covered by workers compensation insurance.        

In addition to paying more to get to the airport, you’ll be shelling out an extra 20 cents a mile for cab rides within the city.

Prior to the vote, cab drivers spoke out against it.

Salah Mohamed worried it would make it even harder for him to compete with the growing car-for-hire businesses, which don’t use meters and aren’t subject to the taxi meter rate increases.

"If you guys increase the meter, we lose the battle.  There’s a lot of competition, town cars and cars- for- hire.  Give them a meter so we all have a level playing field. That’s the way to do it,” he said.

The tension between taxi drivers and limo  drivers has been growing.  As KPLU Reporter Ashley Gross detailed in a previous report, taxi drivers have complained to the Port of Seattle that they are being undercut at the airport by the non metered town cars.

The city acknowledges the non metered town cars and cars- for- hire have changed the landscape for cab drivers.  Still, they say they need to pay for the new state requirement that cab drivers be covered by L & I insurance and raising meter rates is the only way to do that.