Taxis, For-Hires and Transportation Network Companies

What For-Hire Drivers Need to Know About COVID-19:  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) publishes COVID-19 information and health & safety tips specifically for drivers. To learn more, visit the CDC website.
Has COVID-19 impacted your ability to work/earn income as a for-hire driver?  Unemployment benefits are now available to Washingtonians who have lost work because of the COVID-19 crisis - including many part-time workers, independent contractors and other self-employed workers. To learn more about expanded unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 crisis, and to find out if you qualify, visit the Washington State Employment Security Department website.

These pages provide information about City of Seattle rules for the operation of vehicles hired to transport passengers within the city. These vehicles include taxicabs, for-hire vehicles and transportation network company (TNC) vehicles.

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Taxis

Taxicabs are vehicles that transport people for compensation. The passenger controls the route or destination. The vehicles are painted one solid color and have signs or lettering that include the words taxi, cab or taxicab. The City sets rates for fares, which are recorded by a taximeter. Taxicabs may use a dispatch system or service, or taxicabs can be hailed from the street. Learn about taxicab operation.

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For-hire vehicles

For-hire vehicles also transport people for compensation, but are different from taxicabs because they charge a flat fee per trip, rather than a metered fare like a taxi. The vehicles are painted more than one color and cannot be marked with the words taxi, cab or taxicab. For-hire vehicles can be hailed from the street. Learn about for-hire vehicle operation.

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Transportation network companies (TNCs)

TNC vehicles transport people for compensation. Unlike taxicabs and for-hire vehicles, they connect with passengers only through an online application using a device such as a smartphone or tablet. Fares are set by the TNC and must be shown to passengers and paid through the online application. Learn more about TNCs.

Transportation Regulation Improvement Project

The City of Seattle and King County are working together to implement new technology to simplify and improve taxi, for-hire and transportation network company licensing and permitting processes. For more information, visit the TRIP page on King County's website.