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Uber ramps up the pressure with new radio ad

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014

* Uber is running a new radio ad today calling on Gov. Pat Quinn to veto the ridesharing bill. Rate it…

* And the company sent out a press release responding to the Citizens Action release from yesterday…

As the calls for a veto of HB 4075 rise, the taxi industry reaches new lows

The front groups for the taxi monopoly have been spending a lot of time throwing mud. It started with lies about insurance and background checks that insult the hard working men and women who are our uberX partners, and now it’s a lie about our CEO.

Yesterday, taxi front groups reached new lows by falsely claiming Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick was visiting Illinois to lobby on the anti-ridesharing bill.

No, Travis was not in Illinois, but here’s who was: more than 70,000 residents who have asked Governor Quinn to veto HB 4075 and and preserve ridesharing in the state.

A proud member of the taxi cartel’s league of front groups, the Citizen Action Network followed our innovation (surprise!) by launching a cute, little petition to try and counter the more than 70,000 loud and proud Uber supporters who have asked Governor Quinn to save uberX.

Not surprising to see a stale and tired playbook from an industry that has failed to compete for decades. You can’t track their signatures but you can check out all the support rolling in on for ridesharing here.

While Illinois residents count the days until the Governor makes his decision, and we all get a thankful reprieve from the onslaught of taxi company lies, let’s review the facts about HB 4075 - a bill that was handcrafted by the taxi industry to put their competition out of business.

HB 4075 bill would devastate uberX and ridesharing across the state of Illinois by:


    Restricting the number of drivers who could become rideshare partners. That means fewer rides when Illinois residents need them, higher DUI rates, and residents who happen to live in neighborhoods that taxi companies refuse to provide service to will be left without any transportation.

    · Adding red tape to the process of becoming a rideshare driver. uberX driver partners make a steady income on a flexible schedule by driving a few hours a week. This bill would eliminate the ability to do that by asking part time drivers to get a professional chauffeurs license – a process that costs money and does nothing to improve the quality or safety of rideshare service.

    · Applying archaic insurance standards that do not benefit public safety. uberX driver partners have 3X more insurance coverage than Chicago taxi drivers. HB 4075 fails to recognize the industry-leading insurance that protect rideshare drivers and riders on thousands of trips every day in Illinois.

* And an infographic…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - admin - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    Yeah, we get it Uber wants special exemptions from livery regs.

  2. - walker - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    As if where the CEO happens to be, is of any import to the public whatever. That’s his ego talking through his spokesperson.

    Heard the radio ad, and it will help Uber.

  3. - Elmo - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    Nothing has opened my eyes up to the corruption in Chicago more than the Uber issue.

  4. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    ==uberX driver partners have 3X more insurance coverage than Chicago taxi drivers.==
    True? I thought the big issue was that the driver partners’ insurance companies generally cover them only for personal use of vehicle; once they use their vehicle for commercial use (uberX use), the insurance companies understandably could deny a claim.

  5. - admin - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    Robert the Bruce is right. Uber’s commercial coverage is only excess.

  6. - OldSmoky2 - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    OK, let’s see. I want to start a new business in a city where that business would violate the existing regulations. So I guess that means I need to go to work lobbying city council members and the mayor to convince them to change the regulations because allowing me to start my new business would be good for the city, good for consumers, and give some people a little extra work. Hmmm, that sounds like really hard work and could take a while. So, no, I’ll just start it anyway and then kick, and scream, and yell and call everyone who tries to stop me “a front” and “a cartel” and “irrelevant” and “stale and tired” and “archaic.”

  7. - ChrisB - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    Taxi drivers are their own worst enemies. When I lived in the West Loop, it was damn near impossible to flag a cab from the street. Same story in Bucktown/Logan Square area. And those are fairly affluent neighborhoods. I’ve had cabbies try and add their own surcharges, white-knuckle rides, and nearly been hit by a cab running a red way too many times to count. There have been cabbies who didn’t know how to get to Elston Ave. from the Loop, and God help us if the No Cell Phones rule is ever enforced.

    That being said, I’ve also had a number of good cabs. Ironically, the best are the ones that I’ve used Uber to hail them.

    I honestly don’t feel bad for the cabbies. Sure, the medallions are expensive, but every time I have to dodge a taxi running a questionable yellow/red on Wacker, I lose a bit of sympathy for them.

    Besides, Citizen’s Action opened the door for Uber’s retort by copy-pasting that same SF story in every press release. If complaints about the Uber were so numerous, like taxis, they would have no problem getting new material. It was lazy and counter-productive, and actually worked against them; they showed that Uber is so safe, they couldn’t find new instances where Uber is terrible for the consumer.

  8. - Rod - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    Mara Georges who is representing the traditional taxi cab companies as a lobbyist explained on WTTW how Uber’s insurance works and the representative from Uber did not claim she was wrong. The big insurance coverage kicks in only at the point the paying passenger enters the car. All the other traveling is covered by the Uber driver’s standard insurance.

    As Mara Georges correctly pointed out that is highly problematic because even when the driver is in route to a pick up the higher coverage is not in effect. So yes Uber has 3x more insurance, but only while the paying passenger is in the car.

  9. - Judgment Day - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    Going to be some unanticipated consequences over this one. Let’s say Quinn signs the ridesharing bill into law.

    The taxi drivers/medallion holders all rejoice, and Uber ’supposedly’ goes away. Except they won’t. They may not be working in the City of Chicago, but they’ll still be around. Just elsewhere.

    And Chicago will get one more story added to the list that we are anti entrepreneur and not a tech friendly environment. Remember the Texas video about creating a startup here in Illinois?

    And then we’ll get all the usual people coming out with how the tech environment is thriving in the Chicagoland area.

    But what we are missing in all of this is we are not moving forward. Instead of taking a critical look at how we are doing things, we end up telling the ‘wannabe/newbies’ to buy into the existing rules or walk away.

    And then we get surprised (and unhappy) when this whole mess gets used as a ‘talking point’ against us when other states are trying to poach business/jobs from Illinois.

    We need to stop making it easy for other states to pitch our existing businesses to leave Illinois, and even more importantly, for those same businesses to decide to expand elsewhere.

    IMO, Quinn needs to amendatory veto the bill and make the system more ‘Uber Friendly’.

  10. - Wake Up! - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    My worst ride in an Uber was superior to my best ride in a regular taxi.

  11. - workerbee - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    Name an industry that doesn’t whine and complain about regulations? These guys are just like the payday lenders, insurance industry and every other industry that balks when they are asked to subscribe to some basic standards. They’re all going to go out of business. Yeah, whatever. If we raise the income tax Jimmy John’s will leave the state. Guess that never happened. Uber would have you believe they’re just a scrappy, start-up staring down the “big taxi cartels” when actually, they and their investors are some of the most well-connected people anywhere. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  12. - Judgment Day - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    We need to remember one other point…..

    Other cities (increasing) are going to have Uber and/or competitors. While Chicago is doing the ’same olde same olde’, other cities will be providing their residents, and as important, business travelers with these ridesharing experiences, and if successful (as they appear to be), that’s what they’ll be expecting as an option when they arrive here.


    In business, as in many things, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. And bad impressions can carry a long way, and in a lot of areas.

    Just saying….

  13. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    Will Uber release their complaint logs?

  14. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 5:59 pm:

    JD, what are you talking about? Uber will just have to comply with the same regs. as others who give rides.

    Why do Uber-innovative, Uber-capitalists need some entitlements beyond a level-playing field?

  15. - Judgment Day - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 7:16 pm:

    “Why do Uber-innovative, Uber-capitalists need some entitlements beyond a level-playing field?”

    You’re assuming that Uber will even be able to operate under those rules.

    The problem is that some of those rules don’t make any sense. Uber is trying to bring current day technology into place, while maybe the real issue is why the existing ‘rideshare’ bureaucracy is so intent on keeping doing things the way they were done 30-40++ years ago. Why are we so intent here in Chicago/Illinois in staying backwards in terms of technology?

    It appears that we are willing to tolerate these ridiculously out-of-date government rules and regulations designed to empower the existing business climate against newcomers and make real competition in the marketplace impossible.

    Why does Illinois seem to be so intent on being behind-the-curve on anything technology based (except red light cameras)?

  16. - Gershman - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 4:37 pm:

    See the Daily Herald story of 08/21/2014 regarding an UberX fatal accident months ago. It’s another demonstration of why we need state legislation regarding rideshares. This incident had nothing to do with Chicago but the safety issues are still there.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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