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;; @HBJnews.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers speaks to the crowd during an opening ceremony at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County executive pitches $1.66B budget

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced his proposed budget Tuesday afternoon. Public comment is slated to begin Oct. 10.

Kristy Carrington, CEO of Providence Swedish of North Puget Sound, speaks during a Healthcare Summit at Everett Community College on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Providence, Optum and Premera discuss challenges at Everett summit

Five panelists spoke on labor shortages, high costs and health care barriers Wednesday at Everett Community College.

A salmon leaps out of the water while migrating up Wood Creek on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023 in Monroe, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
As Woods Creek railroad trestle comes down, a new doorway for salmon

The trestle was a toxic, physical barrier for salmon since 1939. Now, migrating fish will benefit from its removal.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Schools still without water after service restored to Tulalip homes

The affected area included Quil Ceda Elementary, as well as Heritage and Legacy high schools.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Mt. Baker visible from the summit of Mt. Dickerman on a late summer day in 2017. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Hornets pester hikers on popular Mountain Loop trails

“You cannot out run the stings,” one hiker wrote in a trip report. The Forest Service has posted alerts at two trailheads.

Most Read