Court Ruling Prevents Port Of Seattle From Signing Taxi Contract. For Now.

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In the continuing saga of STITA vs the Port of Seattle, on Monday (Feb. 22nd), the Washington state Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the cab company by granting a temporary injunction against the Port of Seattle’s planned contract with Yellow Cab/Puget Sound Dispatch.

This means the Port cannot sign the planned contract “until further order of the Court” (click here to download/read the order as a PDF file), which could happen in April.

STITA’s request to expedite the appeal was granted by Commissioner Mary Neel. The Commissioner’s order states that this case will be heard by a three-judge panel “toward the end of the April 2010 term,” meaning that this ongoing SeaTac soap opera is far from over.

Members of STITA, who filed the original lawsuit against the Port of Seattle on Jan. 29, were obviously pleased with the decision.

“We are thrilled that the court stopped the Port from proceeding with an illegal contract,” said Jesse Buttar, a STITA member and spokesperson. “We’ve only ever asked for a fair process and a legal contract and now we hope the Port has finally listened and will re-do its flawed bidding process.”

Here’s more info from STITA’s press release, issued late Monday afternoon:

STITA, a non-profit co-op with one of the greenest cab fleet in the country, was created in 1989 by the Port of Seattle to exclusively serve the airport and provide reliable service to airport users. Now, after an unfair proposal process, STITA and its approximately 450 members and drivers will essentially be put out of business. They have the airport contract through August 2010.

STITA’s lawsuit claims that the Port’s bidding process violated state law by requiring bidders to commit to pay an unfair concession fee of at least 10 percent of their airport-based revenues to the Port. This revenue system violates the Airports Act, which says airport concession fees must be based upon the actual cost of operations and be reasonable and uniform. Previously, the Port had charged a per-trip fee to taxis based on the airport’s actual cost of services provided to the cabbies.

Additionally, the lawsuit contends that the Port’s new concession fees violate the King County Code and takes away from the King County Council’s authority to set “just and reasonable” taxi meter rates.

Despite protests from STITA to the Port about these glaring problems with the process and the proposed contract, the Port has so far declined to re-do its flawed contract bid.

A second lawsuit against the Port and Yellow Cab by Farwest Taxi was filed on Feb. 12.

Read our previous coverage of this ongoing legal battle here.

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5 Responses to “Court Ruling Prevents Port Of Seattle From Signing Taxi Contract. For Now.”
  1. truth in reporting says:

    “Despite protests from STITA to the Port about these glaring problems with the process and the proposed contract, the Port has so far declined to re-do its flawed contract bid.”

    Even though STITA knew the rules, and had ample opportunity to do so, STITA did not protest those rules until after it had lost the bid. If STITA was so concerned about a fair bid process, why did they not protest before they lost?

    What STITA wants is a second bite at the apple—-because they lost, and for no other reason. That’s more accurately called a “sore loser”.

  2. Mike says:

    STITA (Seattle Tacoma International Taxi Association) was formed by Port of Seattle in 1980 (something), port of Seattle asked Yellow cab (Puget Sound Dispatch) and Farwest taxi to work for Port of Seattle back then. Both Yellow and Farwest said NO to port of Seattle….that they don’t want to work for Port of Seattle. After, both companies rejected to work for port of Seattle, then port of Seattle formed its own taxi and it’s STITA…Port of Seattle did not allow STITA, to do business outside the airport, because they told STITA they are only allowed to work for Sea-Tac-International Airport. The STITA cabbies are allowed to pick up fair from airport ONLY not from anywhere else. Yellow cabbies, Farwest cabbies and Orange cabbies can pick up fair from Airport and also outside the airport too. After so many years why Port of Seattle is throwing STITA out? Why Port of Seattle did not allow STITA to do business outside the airport? STITA is part of Port of Seattle..if they screw STITA..they will screw Yellow in the long run. DO NOT TRUST PORT OF SEATTLE…THEY ARE CROOK!!!!!!

  3. truth in reporting says:

    “Mike’s” comments about any restrictions on STITA by the Port of Seattle are simply untrue. Most STITA cabs are licensed by King County and can pick up anywhere in King County; about 50 are licensed in both Seattle and King County, and can pick up in Seattle.

    Blaming the Port for how STITA has conducted itself, and for losing the bid in a fair and open competition, is entirely misplaced blame. STITA needs to drop its misguided lawsuits (STITA is not fooling anybody; when the truth comes out, which it will, sooner or later, the Farwest lawsuit will have STITA fingerprints all over it) and move on, constructively, building its business for the future, with the Airport opened up to competition.

    • Mike says:

      Truth in Reporting, get your facts straighten out:

      1. Other cabs are allowed to pick up fare from Airport, because they have King County License plate as well as City Plate.
      2. Total taxis STITA organization have 166+50= 216. The 50 cabs only have dual license plate, meaning they have King County and City (they all came from your employer Yellow, Puget Sound Dispatch). The other 166 cabs are ONLY allowed to pick up fare from Airport ONLY. Why? Because the Port of Seattle did not allowed the 166 cabs to do business outside the airport. The 50 cabs were put in STITA, by Port of Seattle order.
      3. The 166 cabs include CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and Hybrid taxi, out of those 166 cabs not one taxi is on regular gas. If you don’t know what CNG and Hybrid is, the GOOGLE it Mr. or Mrs. Chump.
      4. STITA is doing very GOOD JOB for the environment and there customer services are top notch.

      I am not working for STITA nor do I work for any other Taxi organization. I am US citizen expressing my speech accordingly to FIRST AMENDMENT (FRREDOM OF SPEECH).

  4. kspr77 says:

    POS did not allowed STITA to expand in the last 20 years. POS wanted only drivers be given the opportunity and no drivers were coming farword to make that investment. Why to put such a restriction in a free economy AND NOW POS HAS GONE TO BED WITH THESE KING PINS AT YELLOW. What a change in policy by the POS staff when POS is subsidized from R.E. assessment taxes. You let the company expand the way they want it and not so much control.

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