CHICAGO (CBS) –The Emanuel administration has now outlined regulations that would allow so-called ride-sharing services to legally co-exist with regular Chicago taxicab companies.
The regulations have been approved by a City Council committee and will be voted on by the full City Council next.
It will likely raise objections from both sides of the debate, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.
Right now, ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft are not licensed. Customers use internet-based applications to summon drivers who use their personal cars to carry passengers.
Mayoral Policy Chief Michael Negron says the new administration proposal would create a transportation network provider license with tougher requirements for drivers working more than 20 hours a week.
“Our goal is not to protect any one company or any one industry from competition. Our focus is on protecting consumers,” said Negron.
The service would be required to have background checks and insurance and serve all parts of the city.
“Companies must pay the ground transportation tax and drivers will not be able to drive more than 10 hours a day total,” said Negron.
Ride-share companies have resisted regulations while established taxi companies want the smaller companies treated exactly like them.
“They spend less, and they pocket more, so they’re flocking to the ride-share companies,” said Mara Georges of the Illinois Transportation Trade Association.
The new ordinance would allow surge pricing during peak demand.
“My concern is ride-share, you can have a surge on prices, and taxicabs can’t do that,” said Alderman James Capelman.
Some warned lighter regulations for ride sharing spells trouble down the road.
“The minute you have part-time people who are doing something that’s not particularly regulated, not rigorous in training, not high in experience, safety is compromised,” said personal injury attorney Robert Clifford.
Representatives for the taxi industry have issued a statement criticising the proposal.
“This ordinance is misleading and shields ride-sharing from important consumer protections, requiring much less transparency and rolling back several essential public safety obligations,” said Mara Georges, spokeswoman for the Illinois Transportation Trade Association.