In this 2014 photo, a Lyft driver stops in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

In this 2014 photo, a Lyft driver stops in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Lyft to ‘pause’ service in Everett over new regulations

EVERETT — Ride-sharing service Lyft has announced that it is suspending service in Everett after new rules adopted this summer by the Everett City Council.

Lyft says the City Council has approved rules that require drivers to obtain a business license and undergo background checks. The company says the background checks duplicate what already is required for many drivers who also serve in Seattle.

Lyft says it “made the difficult decision to pause local pickups until the situation is resolved.”

“We know this will affect you and the income you rely on,” the company wrote in an email to drivers. “We’ll continue fighting for Lyft in Everett, and we appreciate everything you’ve done to make this community a success.”

The city requires other independent contractors to obtain business licenses, city spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke said. So the requirement is not new as part of the for-hire ordinance.

“We know that our community values Lyft’s services and we worked hard to develop and implement regulations in a way that would not be onerous for drivers and the company, while still maintaining a strong focus on safety,” Pembroke wrote.

Lyft had expressed concerns that the background check requirement was too vague. The city changed it to require that the company check publicly available national and state sex-offender databases. Lyft communicated to the city last week that that had resolved the company’s concerns, Pembroke wrote.

“We are not sure what Lyft is referring to when it references ‘duplicative’ checks,” she wrote.

City staff have worked with Lyft to alleviate other company concerns. For instance, the city will take a vehicle inspection report from King County. Still, Lyft felt the city’s vehicle checklist was more expansive than other cities, Pembroke wrote.

The city also agreed to give notice both to drivers and to ride-sharing companies if it revokes a business license from a driver. That means the companies would be given notice if a driver is no longer allowed to drive in the city of Everett.

Uber sent out a statement in response to Lyft’s decision. The ride-sharing competitor to Lyft said it, too, has deep concerns about the ability to continue to operate under new ride-share and taxi regulations passed by the Everett City Council.

“We are monitoring the situation closely and hope to — at the very least — continue to provide safe rides through the holiday weekend while working toward a solution that avoids the unintended consequences of these new regulations,” the statement read.

Jim Davis: 425-339-3097; jdavis@heraldnet.com; @HBJnews.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Julie Copeland, center, with her daughters Lillian, 11, Naomi, 7 and son, Michah, 9 with their dog Pippin, 3, outside of Mary's Place on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 in Burien, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A family of 6 pitched tent in Forest Park — then help arrived

Everett’s innovative team of a police officer and a social worker aided them in their time of greatest need.

A major fire broke out on the Everett waterfront Monday morning in an apparently difficult location. (Sue Misao / The Herald) 20181008
Everett boater gets house arrest for fraud in marina fire

He lost his boat in a 2018 fire. But valuables he claimed were destroyed weren’t burned. He sold them on OfferUp.

Port of Everett, state offer new small business grants

Port tenants and companies affected by COVID-19 health restrictions are encouraged to apply.

New Snohomish County online guide aims to boost businesses

County officials have launched an online business directory to help shoppers find local food and wares.

Man arrested after allegedly shooting at, fleeing deputies

A homeowner reportedly found the Lake Stevens man, 40, hiding in a garage and called 911.

Local economic relief programs to get $4.5 million infusion

The new cash will go to small businesses via city grant programs and Economic Alliance Snohomish County.

Auditor: Lack of oversight led to errors in Sultan finances

For a second time, the state auditor’s office urged the city to improve its financial review process.

Voters Brie Roberts, 28, and Michael Woods, 30, vote for the first time at the Robert J. Drewel Administration Building on the Snohomsish County Campus on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Voters young and old put this election in the record book

Generations X and Z, and Millennials, showed up and increased their share of votes compared to 2016.

$250,000 bail for Everett man accused of firing at deputy

A five-mile chase ended with the suspect allegedly breaking into a Mill Creek home Saturday night.

Most Read