Two bills advanced together out of committee Wednesday which would regulate ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft statewide, much to the dismay of the app-based entrepreneurs involved.
The legislative couple — House Bill 4075 and its trailer House Bill 5331 — passed 11-2 and 13-2, respectively, in the Senate Executive Committee.
“The bill creates regulations and requirements for commercial ride-sharing arrangements or transportation and personal-use vehicle prearranged through a dispatcher for a fee,” said Sen. Antonio “Tony” Munoz, D-Chicago, the bills’ chief Senate sponsor.
HB 4075 moves to the Senate floor while HB 5331, if it passes the full Senate, would go back to the House for final approval, a scenario that Munoz said he’s “100-percent” certain will happen.
In addition to mandating companies provide liability insurance, the combined effect of the bills would divide ride-sharing drivers into two tiers, based on the number of hours they work.
* From ride-sharing company Lyft…
Passing this legislation will place severe limits on Lyft and other ridesharing platforms, drastically decreasing the availability of safe and affordable rides. The bill prohibits ridesharing for cars that are more than four years old, even when stringently insured and background-checked, potentially eliminating 70 percent of Chicago’s Lyft drivers. This provision disproportionately affects lower-income drivers in the Lyft community who have come to rely on ridesharing as an important way to earn extra money to make ends meet.
* But Sen. Karen McConnaughay (R-Aurora) says some insurance regulations were very much needed…
“I’m a huge fan of free markets and of Uber itself,” McConnaughay told Illinois Review Wednesday morning. “The core issue for me is how riders and drivers are insured while they’re taking UberX rides. I’m not entirely happy with the bill, but we’ve been working on this and there are problems the bill addresses.”
Uber says they carry a million dollar policy when passengers are in their vehicles, but UberX drivers provide their own private insurance that kicks in when they are not hauling passengers.
“That million dollar policy is to protect the company, not the driver nor the passenger,” McConnaughay said. “You sign a waiver when you sign up for the program. Right now, I wouldn’t want family or friends to get in a vehicle in which they are not insured. If there’s an accident, Uber is off the hook. This legislation addresses that problem.” […]
“There’s no question the taxi industry wanted to eliminate the rideshare programs,” McConnaughay said. “But we worked on the legislation to make changes, and while I’m not entirely happy with the bill, there is a need for insurance requirements to protect consumers.”