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.


* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - State Senate fundraising report
* Third straight poll shows Rauner leading Quinn
* Last call for tickets!
* Vast Majority of Illinois Voters Support Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency
* Sun-Times reporters want you to sign their petition
* Same song, different century
* Question of the day
* Quinn finally wins a newspaper endorsement!
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's cable TV buy report
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: Crosstabs, TV ads
* Report: Another tie between Rauner and CS-T chairman
* Bost's "anger," Cook's ratings, Foster's ad
* $580 MILLION EXELON RATE HIKE?? That’s the price tag for their nuke bailout…EVERY YEAR!
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner pumping dollars
* Rauner pushing IDOT back into the news stream
* Gov. Quinn runs new TV ad featuring FLOTUS
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* No, your eyes didn't deceive you
* Good morning!
* 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

          
        * Android Wear team interested in cross-platform support
        * First Look At 3D Camera App 3DAround
        * Deep Loot lets you discover the depths of the ocean
        * Why the heck do the new iPads have NFC chips when they can’t make contactless payments?
        * Fellice Android game lets you play around with cell organisms
        * Apple’s slipping iTunes sales prove streaming is the future
        * The Groups App I Wish Facebook Would Build

        * Get the Scientific 7-Minute Workout on Any Device with This Web App
        * Stephen Hawking Joins Facebook, Urges Fans to ‘Be Curious’
        * Give Yosemite a Classic, Pre-OS X Look By Tweaking These Settings
        * Don’t toss that old Android: Turn it into a Chromecast receiver!
        * Facebook pushes recommended games, apps in top right corner of News Feed
        * This week in bitcoin: Why financial and legal experts are as critical as engineers to bitcoin’s future
        * Earth View from Google Maps Puts Stunning Photos in the New Tab Page

        * Alexei Ramirez and Adam Eaton Gold Glove finalists, but maybe not f...
        * Longtime scout Provas passes away after battle with cancer
        * Eaton, Ramirez named AL Gold Glove finalists
        * Gold Glove Awards finalists revealed
        * White Sox AFL class features talented Anderson
        * Nori Aoki: The White Sox Killer of 2014
        * World Series Game 2: Notes and discussion


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

        Archives
        October 2014
        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


        * IL Gov. Quinn Announces WIU-QC Expansion - KWQC 6..
        * Gov. Quinn annouces $3 million investment in Me.....
        * Five myths about black voters..
        * Madigan, Rauner spend big on Illinois House races..
        * Rauner makes campaign stop in Bloomington..
        * Officials rethink vote-counting after AG decree..


        * Madigan, Rauner spend big on Illinois House races
        * Cockroach visits Chicago's City Council chambers
        * Chicago police to check bags on transit system
        * Toddler taken from family found in Illinois
        * Man, 2-year-old boy killed by truck in Bloomington
        * Off-duty Chicago police officer shot and wounded
        * Illinois employees rescue woman from house fire
        * Gary killings put spotlight on abandoned buildings
        * Officials rethink vote-counting after AG decree
        * Quinn says he'll comply with hiring monitor

        * Madigan, Rauner spend big on Illinois House races
        * Officials rethink early vote-counting after Madigan ruling
        * Minimum wage increase supporters urge early voting
        * Sun-Times political reporter resigns following Rauner complaint
        * Minimum wage hike supporters urge early voting
        * Federal judge orders court-appointed monitor for IDOT hiring
        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates

        * Chicago police to check bags at CTA stations
        * Shire CEO Ornskov 'dumbfounded' by collapse of AbbVie deal
        * Tests show child in Chicago does not have Ebola
        * Sun-Times reporters to owners: We want answers
        * Will Madigan's opinion cause vote-counting delays?


        * Back to the past with mayor’s move
        * Illinois needs better way to deal with terminally ill inmates
        * At panel on school closings, board acknowledges more planning needed
        * Marina City residents reminded to watch their step during Wallenda’s walk
        * Republican senators question Quinn’s IDOT scandal response
        * Child who became ill on plane tests negative for Ebola
        * Tollway might permanently lower cost to open I-Pass account
        * Killer gets 27 years for throwing woman out 3rd-floor window
        * CPS wants to delay new standardized test, even though state already has said 'no'
        * Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85


        * Des Plaines man who tried to hire killers to burn wife, friends alive gets 17 years
        * FBI searches Chinatown restaurants, at least 2 owned by famed chef Tony Hu
        * Man charged with DUI in 2013 crash that killed woman, 78, in Aurora
        * Craft brewery on tap for Oak Park?
        * Police to screen CTA train passengers for explosives
        * Former radio host convicted of mortgage fraud
        * Chicago police to check CTA passengers for explosives
        * Police release surveillance photo in Loop armed robberies
        * Englewood 5K race organizers seek to inspire peace and good health
        * 1 killed, 10 shot in overnight violence


        * Prosecutors want more of indicted police commander’s 'bad acts' in court
        * Prosecutors want more of indicted police commander's 'bad acts' in court
        * Bedrock 66: Charlie Parr Plays Springfield Friday
        * Oberweis Would Back Federal Same Sex Marriage Law
        * Wild Bison Return To IL
        * Scary Story: The Diviner by Susan Vondrak
        * Artist Profile: Local Troubadour Tom Irwin
        * Real estate and religion: The tale of Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist
        * Suspicion lingers over Ebola treatment
        * Judge Orders Court Appointed Monitor For IDOT Hiring


        * Madigan, Rauner spend big on Illinois House races
        * Our Opinion: Bell, Manar, Davidsmeyer endorsed in state legislative races
        * Craig Burns: Honesty, integrity in great supply at CWLP
        * E.J. Dionne: Ebola, pandering and courage
        * Esther Cepeda: Benefits of closing the word gap
        * Officials rethink early vote-counting after Madigan ruling
        * Our Opinion: Frerichs has the expertise to be Illinois treasurer
        * Robert Kaestner: Good education policy is good health policy
        * Eugene Robinson: Warren makes the case for a presidential run
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Local Rauner ad leaves out ‘everything Springfield isn’t’ line


        * UI Homecoming 2014
        * Group to host movie and costume party
        * Who's in the news? Linda Ortiz
        * Coroner identify Caseyville man killed in crash with police car
        * Illegal immigrant drivers license process slow, community groups say
        * The state isn't red or blue, it's orange
        * Illinois weather summary 10-24-14
        * St. Jacob trustee calls for investigation over sizzle in former mayor's spending
        * Armed robbery in Savoy under investigation
        * Tom's Mailbag Oct. 24, 2014


        * Imrem: Sox, Cubs need Maddon if they want to win
        * Cubs should go after Maddon -- and quickly
        * Des Plaines man sentenced in murder-for-hire plot
        * U.S. stocks rise broadly on earnings; Amazon sinks
        * DuPage County Board mourns death of member J.R. McBride

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Military immigrant program halted...
        * Military immigrant program halted...
        * Military immigrant program halted...
        * Military immigrant program halted...
        * Military immigrant program halted...

        * U.S. Senator Mark Kirk to talk with Triton......

        * Waukegan update. End the curfew.
        * Educational Testing Service censors Les Perelman’s exposé of their B.S.
        * Adam Andrzejewski on John Stossel Show
        * Illinois' Adam Andrzejewski on John Stossel Show
        * Evanston, Illinois ranked one of the best cities for liberals
        * Ben Shapiro: Women Are Winning the War on Women [video]
        * Carly Fiorina Inspires Downers Grove Township Republicans
        * Englewood International Film Festivals Kicks Off Tonight!!! #GOODINENGLEWOOD
        * Red Light Camera Hearing by Council Committee Set For Tuesday
        * Rats heart Rahm.


        * Rauner rips Quinn on IDOT patronage oversight
        * New Ad: Labor leader backs Rauner
        * Jewish Newspapers Endorse Rauner for Governor
        * Statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Chicago Ebola Resource Network
        * Coordinated Care Enrollment Begins In Chicagoland Region




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