* The last time I was in Chicago, I went out of my way to try to use Uber. But I quickly discovered that it was far easier to hail a taxi. Then again, I was in the Mag Mile, so cabs were literally everywhere.
A friend who lives on the South Side uses Uber because cabs are often more than a bit hard to come by. I get that. Outside the Loop, it can be tough to find a taxi. And the further south you go, the tougher it is.
A few weeks ago, a friend insisted that all of us wait on an Uber car even though there was a cab 15 feet away from us in the West Loop. He lost that argument. He prefers riding in a nicer car. I get that, too, but city cabs aren’t usually that horrific and it was getting cold and the rest of us didn’t wanna wait around any longer.
* As we discussed yesterday, Uber wants Gov. Pat Quinn to veto a regulatory bill sitting on his desk and projects 500 new corporate HQ jobs if this happens.
The company sent a blast e-mail out to its Chicagoland list today…
We need your help now.
Your right to transportation choice as an Illinois consumer is one signature away from disappearing.
There is still time for action to be taken. Governor Quinn has the opportunity to uphold his reputation as a champion for the Illinois consumer.
Tell Governor Quinn to veto HB 4075 now!
SIGN THE PETITION
The City of Chicago has passed sensible regulations that preserve ridesharing, keep prices low and quality high for consumers, and create thousands of new driver jobs.
HB 4075 does NOTHING to improve safety standards for riders or drivers. Uber partners already carry significantly higher insurance coverage and adhere to stricter safety standards than other transportation options in the city of Chicago.
The provisions in HB 4075 that threaten Illinois consumers are:
* Caps on flexible supply: restricting drivers ability to get on the road means fewer cars when you need them. That means more stranded people, more DUIs, and less service to underserved communities that need rides the most.
* Full-time red tape for part-time drivers: ridesharing creates thousands of jobs for people in need of cash to pay their bills. This bill destroys jobs by requiring even part-time drivers who occasionally work more to get a professional chauffeurs license.
* Higher costs: applying old insurance models to rideshare drivers that already have nearly 3X the level of insurance as taxis is a maneuver by taxi companies intended to drive costs up for consumers, and protect the taxi monopoly that costs us all dearly.
If ridesharing is allowed to flourish, tens of thousands of jobs will be created over the coming years as more people ditch their cars in favor of the sharing economy. Tell Governor Quinn not to destroy the jobs of military veterans, teachers, retirees, students, the unemployed and underemployed, and thousands of other part-time drivers.
It’s no coincidence that the state’s insurance industry supports the bill on Gov. Quinn’s desk. Insurers are very powerful here - a lot more powerful than the taxi industry. And not just here, either…
The Property and Casualty Insurance Association of America, an influential trade group, issued a statement during hearings in Buffalo, New York, which would ban operations by Uber and Lyft, alleging “serious insurance gaps” in operations by TNC services. Kristina Baldwin, a spokesperson for the organization, said that ride-sharing services’ insurance policies are “a source of confusion for drivers and passengers, who either erroneously believe that the personal automobile policy will provide coverage, or realize that it does not and are simply hoping for the best. This confusion is likely to result in costly coverage disputes and delayed compensation to accident victims.”
The Teamsters Union is even getting involved in California.
And as much as I love Austin, Texas, that city has not yet legalized ride-sharing companies. Who knew that Chicago was more “business friendly” than Austin?