Convenient, technology-based services provided by Uber and Lyft have become expected amenities in world-class American cities, but a proposed City Council ordinance with overly burdensome requirements and new fees would essentially decimate the ridesharing industry as we know it in Chicago.
Ridesharing services are a safe and reliable transportation option for city residents to get to their jobs, visit friends and family, or even run vital errands such as grocery shopping or doctor’s appointments. Ridesharing is a benefit that not only Chicagoans, but also visitors can enjoy and use to explore the diverse and many neighborhoods that make Chicago one of a kind.
Furthermore, ridesharing provides nearly 40,000 drivers in neighborhoods throughout Chicago with employment and contributes nearly $50 million in annual revenue to the city. The proposed ordinance puts the jobs and revenue at risk as it threatens the business model on which ridesharing companies operate.
The latest ordinance for ridesharing came in March. Ridesharing drivers would pay the price, with more than $500 in fees and a new requirement to purchase a chauffeur’s license. The ordinance would have a negative economic impact for all of Chicago through reduced transportation options for residents (particularly residents living and working in neighborhoods and communities that have limited alternatives), reduced choice for visitors, reduced employment, and new regulations on an already over-regulated industry.
The city of Chicago prides itself on being a modern, global city on the cutting edge of innovation and technology. If this ordinance passes, instead of effectively embracing technology and the shared economy, Chicago would be turning its back on past discussions and progress. Aldermen would effectively be legislating against easier and more options to accessible transportation, connecting residents and visitors throughout the city, and income that is reinvested in our city and neighborhoods.
Chicago needs to encourage economic growth and innovation. There is enough room in the competitive transportation marketplace for both a thriving taxicab industry and ridesharing services, such as Uber and Lyft.
Source: Chicago Tribune