STITA Wants Port To Disqualify Yellow From Airport Cab Contract
by Jack Mayne
The Port of Seattle has been accused by a taxicab company of violating the state open meeting act and seeks to have the Port restrained from signing a contract with Yellow Cab for exclusive cab service from the airport.
The legal dispute over the taxi contract for travelers arriving at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport could make finding a taxicab impossible after the August 31 end of the current contract. The Port of Seattle and the Seattle Tacoma International Taxi Association, better known as STITA, say some sort of service will be found but no discussions have been held with any cab provider, say spokesmen for both sides.
Court orders sought by STITA and other cab companies have prevented the Port from signing a new contract with Yellow Cab as recommended by the Port staff. For 20 years, STITA has held the contract to provide all taxi service leaving the airport, but the Port was stung last year by a state auditor’s report dinging the Port for not making enough money on the contract.
The Port and STITA say there were no discussions about increasing income to the Port. Instead, for the first time last year, the Port issued requests for proposals, which resulted in Port staff recommending the contract be awarded to Yellow Cab.
STITA and other area cab companies have gone to court to stop Yellow from getting the contract, claiming various problems with the way the bid were evaluated.
In the latest filing, STITA is asking for the court to issue an injunction restraining the Port from signing a new contract with Yellow Cab because it violated the open meetings act by adopting changes in the provisions of the contract in a closed door meeting and without giving bidders notice of those changes. The changes should have been discussed in a public and open meeting, says attorney Michael A. Goldfarb on behalf of client STITA.
“Everything points to the Port of Seattle to go back to the drawing board, and clean up this mess,” says Jesse Buttar, a STITA spokesman. “We’re not asking for them to give us the contract, but to give us a level playing field. This has been stacked against STITA from the beginning.”
STITA says it also plans to appeal another case to the State Supreme Court to continue an injunction preventing the port from signing the Yellow Taxi contract. If the Court starts its summer recess before acting on the appeal, the injunction against a new contract could result in no contract for cab service being in place after the current one expires.
- STITA Cab Challenges Yellow Taxi Lobbyist Over Role In Taxi Contract
- Court Ruling Prevents Port Of Seattle From Signing Taxi Contract. For Now.
- Taxicab Companies Request State Investigation Into Port Of Seattle
- Port Of Seattle Being Sued By Second Taxi Company
- UPDATE: After Brief Denial, STITA Cab Wins Stay Against Port Of Seattle
- STITA Taxi Files Lawsuit Against Port Of Seattle For Breaking Contract