SEATTLE – The Port of Seattle signed a pioneering new contract for on-demand taxi/for-hire service that will provide more options for travelers and greater equity for more drivers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Eastside For Hire, a minority-owned business, will take over providing taxi/for-hire options for travelers while maintaining and improving the environmental standards required by the Port.
“Last year, as we began this competitive proposal process, the Port of Seattle invited the on-demand taxi/for-hire industry and community to suggest strategies that would increase opportunities for drivers and improve the customer experience. As a result, we’ve reached an agreement that meets our strict standards for environmental sustainability, improves customer service and traveler options and respects the rights of drivers,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Courtney Gregoire. “While we view this contract as a successful step forward, we will continue to closely monitor the changing dynamics of the ground transportation industry and partner with Eastside for Hire to ensure that drivers and customers benefit from expanded equity and opportunity.”
“As a company founded by taxi drivers, and the largest immigrant driver-owned company in Washington State, we are committed to the economic viability of our drivers. We appreciate the Port of Seattle’s focus on sustainability, customer service and regard for driver livelihood. We are eager to embrace this opportunity to create a stable, sustainable and positive working environment for our drivers and customers,” said Samatar Guled, general manager for Eastside For Hire.
The five-year contract (three years with two one-year options) with Eastside For Hire (ESFH) will:
- Provide 61 percent taxis and 39 percent flat-rate, for-hire vehicles – a new customer choice – as well as 50 wheelchair accessible vehicles;
- Require vehicles to meet 45 MPG or greater standards (maintaining current requirements) and more than double deadhead trip reduction efforts (contract year options will only be available if ESFH meets deadhead trip reduction goals);
- Maximum customer wait time, at any time, continues to be 5 minutes ($50 fine per failure);
- Include an unprecedented labor harmony agreement which protects current economic conditions and representational preferences for a significant portion of the existing workforce;
- Institute a periodic survey of driver compensation to verify that drivers are making a living income;
- 75 percent of the new taxi (metered) fleet will be reserved for the current driver pool.
Travelers will see no operational difference in the transition to the new provider. On-demand services will continue to be available on the third floor of the airport garage. Eastside For Hire will take over the current services from Yellow Cab on October 1.
Sea-Tac Airport continues to provide a wide-range of ground transportation options for travelers and encourages the use of multi-modal opportunities. Click here for more information.