CHICAGO (CBS) — On the eve of a City Council vote on opening Chicago’s airports to ride-sharing companies, Uber was looking to gain support with a new online ad campaign.
Uber has released a YouTube video of interviews with people waiting in long taxi lines at O’Hare International Airport.
“I was absolutely surprised by the length of the line. It was at least about a quarter of a mile long,” one man said.
The company said it has gathered 37,000 signatures on a petition urging aldermen to allow ride-sharing pickups at O’Hare, and at Midway International Airport. Uber, Lyft and other such companies can drop off travelers at the airports, but city ordinance does not allow them to pick up passengers there.
Uber said, in September alone, 180,000 people opened its app at O’Hare and Midway, looking for a ride.
In its new ad, Uber asked people waiting in line for a cab at O’Hare what they think about having Uber at the airports.
“I take Uber to the airport, so I would love when I leave to be able to take Uber back home,” one woman said.
Others said they’d love to know they wouldn’t have to wait more than a few minutes to get a ride after they get their bags.
“There has to be more than one option, because clearly the taxi lines are too long,” one woman said.
Aldermen were expected to approve a compromise that would allow ride-sharing services to serve the airports, and bring in additional revenue that would help taxi drivers defray the cost of chauffeur licenses they must obtain, but ride-share drivers do not.
Under the compromise unveiled Monday, the per-ride fee charged to ride-share services would rise from 30 cents to 52 cents – an additional 2 cents per ride higher than Mayor Rahm Emanuel initially proposed for the 2016 city budget. The extra money raised would go toward a rebate program for taxi drivers, to help taxi drivers cover the costs of chauffeur licenses.
Chauffeur license fees also would drop from $15 to $5, and renewals would drop from $8 to $5.
Ride-sharing services also would have to pay a $5 fee for every airport pickup, as well as pickups at Navy Pier and McCormick Place.