SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x1 *** Lighten up, Françoise

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014

* From a December 30th Wall Street Journal article on a Parisian tussle over the ride-sharing service Uber

Paris has been a fertile ground for the new app-based car-service companies, with more than more than 12,000 vehicles now available—compared with nearly zero in 2010. It is one of Uber’s two biggest markets outside the U.S., alongside London. Revenue at Chauffeur-Prive.com is growing 10% week to week, its founder says.

In response, French taxi companies lobbied heavily for new rules, saying that they had been put at a disadvantage since rules created in 2009 allowed a new class of cars to take reservations, but not street hails, with fewer certification requirements.

Taxi drivers say that the new online services, in which a taxi can be ordered via an app and arrive at your GPS coordinates at a prearranged price within five minutes, effectively compete for passengers who would otherwise be hailing taxis. Drivers and taxi companies buy expensive licenses for exclusive rights to offer street-hail trips.

* I was in Paris just days after that article appeared. We stayed at a little, out of the way (read: relatively inexpensive) hotel. No taxis milling about anywhere. Not close to a train.

I was told that a taxi reservation would cost me 5 Euros on top of the normal fare. The wait could be up to an hour.

So, for the first time ever, I tried Uber. It worked great from my hotel (we cabbed everywhere else) and, when you included that taxi reservation fee, it was about the same price as a cab. It was also quicker than ordering a taxi, even with Paris’ goofy regulation requiring at least a 15-minute wait before Uber could pick me up (if I was staying at a 4 or 5-star hotel, however, the mandatory wait would’ve been waived).

Taxi companies everywhere are fighting back against Uber. Some Parisian cab drivers even went on strike over the issue.

Uber isn’t for everyone or for every situation. Some of its “surge pricing” could be seen as downright scandalous. They charge what the market will bear, and that means an Uber “black car” ride from the United Center to the Loop can cost more than a hundred bucks after a game or concert.

* What we don’t want to do with regulation is to be worse than Paris. A new bill (HB 4075) seems to provide some reasonable requirements, but would step on some Uber business practices as well. From a press release…

House Bill 4075, named the Ridesharing Arrangements and Consumer Protection Act, would require commercial ridesharing companies to have adequate insurance, contract with drivers who are appropriately licensed, use vehicles that are inspected for safety and serve customers with disabilities and in underserved communities.

The statewide standards in House Bill 4075 also:

    · Close the insurance gap, requiring $500,000 combined commercial liability insurance;
    · Require chauffer licenses for all drivers;
    · Eliminate the use of waivers of liability by rideshare companies;
    · Require vehicle safety standards, including regular inspections;
    · Limit hours drivers can be on the road with a maximum 10 hour driving shift in a 24 hour period;
    · Prohibit price gouging;
    · Require accessible vehicles for passengers with disabilities;
    · Require compliance with local service standards, including service to low-income communities;
    · Require vehicle marking and clear posting of a phone number for customer complaints;
    · Allow communities to establish and enforce stricter oversight over rideshare companies, but not to ignore the statewide regulatory threshold established by the General Assembly

Requiring vehicle marking seems silly to me. And allowing cities to go all Paris on these companies at willl probably isn’t a great idea, either.

* Let’s go back to the press release…

The Illinois General Assembly passed the Ridesharing Arrangements Act in 1983 to permit carpooling and other similar activities. The legislation was narrowly crafted to prohibit alternative taxi services or “jitney cabs” from operating in the state. Despite the narrow allowance for for-profit ridesharing activities other than those specified in the Ridesharing Arrangements Act, UberX, Lyft and Sidecar have been openly operating in the City of Chicago and the city’s affluent suburbs without abiding by any regulations.

Pretty harsh tone, no?

And think about this for a second: Illinois had to actually change a law to permit carpooling in 1983?

Sheesh.

* And, from the bill, this is a bit silly

No person participating in a commercial ridesharing arrangement shall collect, and dispatchers shall not charge, any fare that is more than the highest per-mile rate charged by taxicabs within the unit of local government where the commercial ridesharing arrangement is conducted.

If people are willing to pay more and are told in advance of the rate, what’s the problem?

Why is everybody always so afraid of “the new”?

* This company is very aggressive and has fought on several fronts

“What we did in Chicago, what we do in all these cities, is reach out to all of our users and say, take action–email your councilperson; email the mayor,” Kalanick says. “Uber riders are the most affluent, influential people in their cities. When we get to a critical mass, it becomes impossible to shut us down.”

Denver is a more recent test of the playbook. In January, Colorado’s Public Utilities Commission proposed rules under which the company could be classified as a motor carrier–meaning it would be treated like a taxi company. This issue is at the core of many of Uber’s regulatory challenges. That’s because, city by city and state by state, transportation companies of all sorts–cab, sedan, limo–are heavily regulated in terms of the insurance they carry, the structure of their fares, the background screening of their drivers, and the condition of their vehicles.

Uber neither owns vehicles nor employs drivers; it makes the technology that connects a user to a driver, one who is ostensibly already abiding by all these local regulations. As Kalanick often says, “They need to decide whether we are Orbitz or American Airlines.”

To be classified as a transportation company would amputate from Uber the exact things that make it an exceptionally good business: its ability to scale fast, control how a rider pays, and not be bogged down by owning vehicles.

The future is here. Let’s not blow it.

*** UPDATE *** From ride-sharing company Lyft…

After weeks of working diligently with Mayor Emanuel, we have made significant progress on a proposed city ordinance that prioritizes public safety while protecting innovation. HB 4075 is a backdoor attempt by state legislators to undermine all the work that’s already been done to reach a solution on this issue, and ultimately kill peer-to-peer transportation. HB 4075 would effectively shut down new transportation options in Illinois and eliminate consumer choice for residents who depend on safe and affordable transportation alternatives like Lyft. While safety is often brought up as a reason to apply an old regulatory model to an innovative transportation solution, the truth is that new technology provides an opportunity to increase safety above and beyond what has been done previously, which is why Lyft’s safety criteria are far more strict than what is required of taxis and limos. These proposed regulations have no bearing on public safety, and the motivation behind their development was planned behind closed doors. We hope that the House Committee will listen to its constituents who want more transportation options and vote against HB 4075.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


18 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    Rich, no one is “afraid” of the new. These are profit-driven existing companies trying to rig the rules so that their profits are preserved. It’s no different than the restaurants rigging the rules to keep the food trucks out, the wine and the auto distributors rigging the rules to keep the internet sales out, etc. It’s why you have to laugh when Republicans say they’re for free market capitalism, then vote for bills to entrench existing companies.


  2. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    I am all for the new, but as a woman, I would just like to know that the strange car I am stepping in to will not lead to something bad. I would hope some kind of licensure would provide me with that piece of mind. I against any kind of 15-minute wait; that is ridiculous.


  3. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    It’s going to be a great payday for lobbyists. A handful of players own most of the taxi medallions and they know how to throw money around. Uber is learning how to play, too.


  4. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    If you want a good intro to Uber, NPR’s Planet Money had a podcast (Episode 516) back in February.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/02/07/273060341/episode-516-why-paying-192-for-a-5-mile-car-ride-may-be-rational


  5. - GV - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    32nd ward,

    Licensure is great. But when you get in a cab you hail on the street what record exists that 6 of ever got in it unless you pay with a credit card on the way out? With Uber before you even step in a car there is a record of the car, license number, name, drivers license of the driver, and the fact you entered the car and the time and location you did so in the hands of a third party. I guess that is much less secure than a random cab being hailed..
    .


  6. - RonOglesby - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    Uber is a great service. I have used it in San Fran, Boston, etc when I travel. Its a shame that lots of cities (read DC Chicago, etc) want to quash it because of existing taxi companies…

    as for surge pricing, its supply and demand. Dont buy it if you dont like it. On the flip side I have gotten an uber ride in like 10 minutes outside a restaurant a mile or two from downtown san fran, when I had been standing there and not seen a vacant cab in 20 minutes.

    Its a shame. Most of the push back on Uber isn’t safety. its the Taxi companies companies keeping them out.


  7. - Perry Noya - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    “The future is here. Let’s not blow it.”

    Come on, Rich. The purpose of Big Government and Big Business is to protect the status quo. They hate competition and fear innovation. That is one reason why Bruce Rauner is so despised (granted, there are other reasons).


  8. - Knome Sane - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 12:53 pm:

    I tried Uber for a night on the town with Mrs. Sane and I enjoyed it. The only beef I have is the charge for “time” on top of the mileage and initial “pull” charge. I probably won’t use it again for that exact reason. But hey, if someone wants to pay $100 more for a $20.00 ride on New Year’s Eve, who am I to protest?


  9. - Bunson8r - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    While I like the idea behind Uber, Lyft, and others, I do not like how the companies are misleading in the insurance coverage they provide for their drivers. I looked into signing up for one of these services to make a few extra bucks on weekends, and in reading the finest of the fine print, realized the insurance they provide drivers is useless in many situations, especially when an accident is the fault of someone besides the driver. This also puts customers at risk for being injured and having to cover their own bills.

    However, after listening to the debate on this today, this bill seems to go much too far. There were alarmist politics at work, mentioning one alleged assault by an Uber driver to show how dangerous these services can be, and making it seem like it’s somehow wrong for people to pay more during surge hours. People shouldn’t accept a higher rate if they don’t want to pay it and are always welcome to call or hail a taxi. I think there should be strict insurance requirements and driving record checks, but going as far as a chauffeur’s license is a bit much.


  10. - RonOglesby - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    @knome
    “But hey, if someone wants to pay $100 more for a $20.00 ride on New Year’s Eve, who am I to protest? ”

    I couldn’t find a cab a couple of years ago on new years in Chicago. And I dont mean 4 am I mean 12:30 leaving navy pier. Then walking 40 minutes back to our car near the restaurant. I would have paid 100 bucks to have avoided that.


  11. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    I think everybody who has ever lived or worked in Chicago has at least one “couldn’t find a cab” story. It’s a reason why this rideshare service thing has been so successful.


  12. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    GV: thanks for the education on having a record with Uber. I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks.


  13. - A guy... - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    The market found a solution with Uber. It’s great. Despite trying to regulate it to death, it’s still great. It may do to crazy taxi service what Fed Ex did to mail. It cost a little more, but everyone’s time has it’s own value.


  14. - thechampaignlife - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    I’m looking forward to the self-driving Google cars - that’ll be a multi-industry killer from truckers to cabbies. Also will kill parking meters, airbags, possibly even some school buses.


  15. - Chicago - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    I (and almost everyone I know) use Uber to get a regular taxi too. The fare is automatically deducted from my bank account with tip included, so I can just get out of a cab without the hassle of paying in cash. The drivers all have their pics and reviews on the Uber app and the GPS allows you to follow them on their way to you, or if you order a cab for someone else, follow them on their way home.

    It works, people like it and willing to pay, leave it be.


  16. - DuPage - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    Call Nucky Thompson.


  17. - PW Worker - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 7:18 pm:

    I use Uber all the time in the City. It is usually cheaper than a cab by almost half, the drivers are friendly, and the cars are clean. I have pretty much stopped using regular taxis all together, such a great service especially in areas of the City where it’s hard to find a cab. The City as usual in an attempt to pay it’s bills it looking for a taste of the action, Uber and Lyft customers will have to pay some new City surcharge and the outrage will go away.


  18. - Anon - Wednesday, Apr 9, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    I use Uber not only for personal travel around the city but work travel out to the airport as well. It is cheaper, the drivers are so nice and the cars are clean. I am so glad that I don’t have to deal with rude drivers anymore. Any time I have ever had a problem (ex. smoke smell in the car) i have marked it in the rating after the ride and immediately received a response from customer service. They are really strict with expecting great service from the UberX drivers.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Quinn presser raw audio
* MillerCoors matching donations for Equality Illinois GOTV efforts
* Question of the day
* Rauner takes batting practice
* Stagnant income, except at the top
* If the US Attorney doesn't believe he did it, that's good enough for me
* Today's number: 20x
* Cross endorsed by Democratic mayor
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Et tu, Cubbies?
* Cutting to the chase
* Welcome to the NFL, rookie
* *** UPDATED x1 *** This just in... Court keeps Libertarians on ballot
* Callis releases new negative ad
* FactCheck.org calls Schilling ad "shamefully misleading"
* Rauner zeroing in on 20 IDOT workers
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: Crosstabs, mailers, latest cable TV buys
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * The Week in iPhone Cases: Out the gate
        * Rumors say HTC Nexus 9 launch probably on October 16
        * iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus: Which is the perfect screen size for you?
        * LINE launches SnapMovie video making and editing app
        * iPhone 6 Plus teardown reveals battery size and other internal components
        * Pebble firmware update adds iOS 8 support and more
        * Help + Tips app: Your Windows Phone 8.1 Primer

        * Disconnect Mobile Blocks Malicious Ads and Malware on Your Smartphone
        * GoPro Action Camera GoKnuckles Launches On Kickstarter (video)
        * The Best Third Party Keyboards for iOS 8
        * Android L Will Come With Encryption Enabled By Default
        * Legend of Grimrock 2 Release Date Announced With New Trailer (video)
        * iPhone 6 And 6 Plus Undergo Heart Wrenching Drop Test
        * Additional Samsung Galaxy A5 (SM-A500F) Photos Leaked

        * Updates: Former White Sox playing meaningful September baseball
        * Hot corner belongs to Gillaspie on South Side
        * Predicting Jose Abreu's place in the American League MVP vote
        * Royals offense unflappable, even against Chris Sale
        * Konerko, White Sox stop at the Trop to face Rays
        * Sale roughed up by Royals, loses AL ERA lead
        * Royals 6, White Sox 2: Chris Sale roughed up


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * World Peace Day Celebrations in Illinois: Findi.....
        * Clock ticking for Illinois to form state-run Ob.....
        * Advocacy Group: Time to Get WI Back on Track wi.....


        * Fake tweets stir debate about parody, lawsuit
        * Highland teachers accept new contract, end strike
        * GOP's Rauner not a fan of gambling, airport slots
        * Police commander indicted for alleged battery
        * Report: 6 SIU students arrested in sex assaults
        * 2 Illinois women die from West Nile virus
        * Emanuel backs away from naming school after Obama
        * Economy remains slow in rural parts of 10 states
        * Illinois jobless rate declines in August
        * Alleged gang member sentenced; judge cites murder

        * Sangamon Co. judge: Libertarian candidate for governor can stay on ballot
        * Illinois’ jobless rate continues 6-month decline
        * GOP’s Rauner no fan of gambling, airport slots
        * GOP’s Rauner no fan of gambling, airport slots
        * Jeb Bush headlining Chicago fundraiser for Rauner
        * Rochester resident to lead State Board of Elections
        * GOP appeal seeks to knock Libertarian gubernatorial candidate off ballot
        * Jesse White to focus on technology, highway safety if re-elected
        * Rauner’s ethics reform plan targets lobbyists, lawmakers
        * White to focus on technology, highway safety in fifth term

        * Gloria Jean's Coffees tries a comeback
        * At McDonald's, the simple joy of a dividend increase
        * Oracle's Ellison, a CEO with Chicago roots, cedes post
        * Peak6 Investments sells off hedge fund
        * Rauner service tax proposal pushes a CEO toward Quinn


        * Rauner needs to turn over new leaf on medical pot
        * Ald. Munoz: Democratic Party support for Emanuel in mayor’s race premature
        * Drug dealer held accountable in Chicago cop’s murder, gets 35 years in prison
        * Chicago Scots gather to await results of independence vote
        * Firefighter recounts harrowing aftermath of hurricane in Mexico
        * Amid controversy, Emanuel drops plan to name school after Obama
        * Illinois No. 4 in nation for rush-hour highway congestion
        * Kadner: Crestwood could pay $50K fine in tainted water scandal
        * Rauner unveils ethics proposals
        * NU prof realizing genius grant is no prank


        * Man grabs, hugs kids at Southwest Side school
        * Two dead, seven injured in city shootings
        * Jimmy Fallon announces 'Tonight Show' return to Chicago
        * Arrests made after two sexual assaults at Southern Illinois University
        * Independence vote captivates crowd at Scottish bar in Chicago
        * Cops: Man grabbed boy and girl at recess in West Lawn playground
        * 16 firefighters returning from Mexico after being stranded by hurricane
        * Gang leader held responsible in '08 slayings of officer, companion
        * Prosecutors: Health aide stole from 2 women, one of them on her deathbed
        * Brandon Marshall addresses history of domestic violence


        * The Best Music You've Never Heard
        * Climate, Space Create Challenges For Local Food
        * Can A Governor Really Create Jobs?
        * How do you find high school dropouts?
        * Governor's Race Has A Third Contender; Judge Keeps Libertarians On Ballot
        * Humanities Film Series Kicks Off In Jacksonville
        * Court Ruling Could Impact Governor's Race
        * Indicted police commander suspended from duty 11 times, records show
        * Despite Outbreak, Illinois Virus Cases Remain Low - Why?
        * Teen Arrested For Threat Against Glenwood High School


        * Sangamon Co. judge: Libertarian candidate for governor can stay on ballot
        * Our Opinion: Anchor’s cancer struggle hits home
        * Bob Gilligan: Advisory questions seek voter input — sort of
        * Illinois’ jobless rate continues 6-month decline
        * GOP’s Rauner no fan of gambling, airport slots
        * Esther Cepeda: Pity the vanishing bobolink
        * Jeb Bush headlining Chicago fundraiser for Rauner
        * Christopher Mooney: Evidence in policymaking — no cure-all, but better than the alternative
        * Eugene Robinson: Hillary Clinton needs to tell us her vision
        * George Will: Obama needs Congress to approve this war


        * The scene of the slime
        * Marion KC distributes $6K to local organizations
        * Top of the Morning, Sept. 19, 2014
        * Area Calendar 9/19/14
        * Abandonment ‘dual’ sentence possible
        * Run/walk to benefit Clothes for Kids program
        * Gold Coast tour slated both days this weekend
        * Army secretary to visit RI Arsenal
        * Enjoy final days of summer
        * Enjoy the final days of summer


        * Dawn Patrol: How Hoffman firefighters got home; gifts for needy stolen
        * Longtime Inverness cancer support center closing this month
        * How tapes of Jim Croce's 1973 Harper College concert got on CD
        * Cubs leaving Kane County Cougars for South Bend
        * Scots reject independence from U.K.

        * Hultgren, Roskam to Host Service Academy D...
        * Ask Peter: Obamacare's Broken Promises - I...
        * Peter Roskam pushes for Alzheimer's resear...
        * Congressman: 'Some good stuff is going on'...
        * Enterprise Recovery Systems Hosts Congress...
        * Dem Explains Why He Voted 'Present' on DAC...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * House Unanimously Passes Historic Resoluti...
        * Elizabeth Roskam Paints Capitol for Ukrain...
        * Illinois vote: Dems split on aid for Syria...

        * Army secretary to visit Rock Island Arsenal...
        * Army secretary to visit Rock Island Arsenal...
        * Army secretary to visit Rock Island Arsenal...
        * Army secretary to visit Rock Island Arsenal...
        * Army secretary to visit Rock Island Arsenal...

        * Senators, Energy CEOs Call for Long-Term E......

        * A Good Guy Who Wore Black
        * Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park
        * Luftwerk's Film Noir Redemption in Couch Alley - only through Saturday
        * Skin color and support of the Republican Party...
        * Chicago Housing Activists Fight To Save A Rogers Park 'Community House' (VIDEO)
        * Emanuel Pulls The Plug On Plan To Name School After Obama
        * Members of Action Now protest for a $15 minimum wage at McDonald's
        * Rauner Doesn't Like The Idea Of Gambling, Airport Slots
        * "Your alderman is selling out Chicagoans," sign at minimum wage protest
        * Illinois Unemployment Rate Inches Down To 6.7%


        * Quinn Misleads Public on IDOT Again
        * Governor Quinn Visits Chicago’s Hydro, Inc. as Illinois’ Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop - State Jobless Rate Reaches Lowest Level in Six Years
        * Rauner Launches New TV Ad: 100 Years
        * 100 Years
        * Bruce Rauner Announces Ethics Blueprint




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller