* The taxi companies have backed way off their outlandish legislative push to all but outlaw ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. There is no final agreement yet, however. Word is that insurance details are still to be worked out, but here’s the press release from Rep. Mike Zalewski outlining what’s been put into a bill and will be heard tomorrow…
Local governments can regulate ride-sharing services more strictly than the new state standards, except for chauffeur license requirements and establishing fares
A two-tiered regulation system is provided for ride-sharing systems – for drivers/vehicles participating more than 18 hours per week and those doing it 18 or fewer hours a week
Regulation for more than 18 hours per week
Drivers must secure a chauffeur’s license from the local government where the vehicle is registered or where the ride-sharing arrangement is conducted
Vehicles must have distinctive registration plates to designate them as ride-sharing participants
Vehicle age must be the same as local government requirements for other vehicles transporting passengers commercially
Vehicles must pass the same inspections local governments require of other vehicles transporting passengers commercially
Regulation for 18 or fewer hours per week
Drivers do not need a chauffeur’s license
Dispatchers must conduct background checks on prospective drivers and certify they fall under the 18-hour threshold
No distinctive registration plates are required
Dispatchers must certify that vehicles have passed an annual safety inspection before it can be used in ride-sharing
An IDFPR state commercial ride-sharing dispatcher’s license is required, with annual renewals
Dispatchers must have commercial liability insurance with primary coverage for the dispatcher, driver and vehicle
Ride-sharing arrangements cannot be done by “hailing,” hand gestures or verbal statements
Ride-sharing cannot be done at designated taxi stands, queues or loading zones, nor at any place banned by local governments
Ride-sharing drivers must follow all rules a local government has for licensed chauffeurs for servicing under-served areas and providing wheelchair accessible vehicles
Dispatches can only be made to properly licensed drivers and vehicles that have distinctive registration plates
Violations of ride-sharing requirements are subject to penalties under IDFPR
Anyone injured or in danger of being injured from an actual or imminent violation of this new law can sue in circuit court
Allow taxis to establish a system for “surge pricing” in situations where rider demand is high, as long as the service is contacted by an Internet or smartphone device and drivers clearly agree to higher prices for using the service
Dispatchers must collect records on all commercial ride-sharing vehicles
IDFPR must adopt rules to implement the provisions in this proposed law
All the truly goofy over the top stuff is gone. That’s a good thing.
I also like the idea of taxi companies getting into the online ride share business. It’ll help spur even more competition and force the companies to improve their service.
* Meanwhile, Mayor Emanuel is also continuing to work on a compromise…
Emanuel is still refusing to regulate ride-sharing fares for fear of snuffing out a burgeoning industry on the cutting edge of technology that gives Chicagoans more transportation options.
But he’s reserving the right to “place a cap on surge pricing” during periods of peak demand if increased disclosure requirements fail to “alleviate consumer complaints.”
In the meantime, ride-sharing companies would be required to “publicly announce” when surge pricing periods are in effect and “take steps to ensure that customers clearly agree” to those higher prices. That includes providing customers with a “true fare quote in dollars and cents” instead of a multiplier.