* From a press release…
Today, the California based billionaire CEO of Uber blew into Illinois to call on Governor Quinn to veto the ridesharing consumer protection act, which was passed by the General Assembly with bi-partisan support last spring.
Travis Kalanick, the newly minted billionaire joins his allies in the Republican Party and fellow billionaire Bruce Rauner in standing against basic consumer safety. “In calling on the Governor to veto this landmark consumer protection legislation, the self-serving billionaires are throwing the safety and well-being of rideshare customers out the door,” said Lynda DeLaforgue, co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois.
If signed into law, the bill requires very simple consumer friendly protections such as requiring drivers who work more than 36 hours in a two week period to have a chauffeur’s license, and for all drivers to carry commercial liability insurance.
Yesterday, Citizen Action launched a new online petition for consumers who support basic rideshare safety in Illinois. The petition calls on Governor Quinn to sign HB4075 & HB5331 - the Rideshare Protection Act.
“Most Illinois consumers probably already think they have sufficient insurance and a safe driver who has had a proper background check when they get into a rideshare car. The truth is that unless the Governor signs these bills, Illinois will be the wild west of ridesharing. Other states such as New York have already implemented similar protections, why can’t Illinois?” DeLaforgue asked.
Citizen Action/Illinois also released a fact sheet outlining the “Top Five Uber-Bad Actions in 2014,” attached to this release.
* The fact sheet…
TOP FIVE UBER-BAD ACTIONS IN 2014
1) After an Uber driver hit and killed a 6-year-old girl in San Francisco, Uber denied responsibility and kept the little girl’s family from any insurance compensation.
San Francisco Gate, “Uber denies fault in S.F. crash that killed girl”
2) A NBC 5 Chicago investigative team report found numerous UberX drivers with criminal pasts, including an ex-con on probation with a list of felonies over twenty years long, even after company “background checks.”
NBC Chicago, “Ride Service May Pose Risk To Passengers”
3) In March, a Chicago Uber driver sexually assaulted a young woman, driving her the wrong way from home and “repeatedly fondled her legs, groin area and breasts.”
Chicago Tribune, “In lawsuit, woman says Uber driver harassed, fondled her”
4) Lyft claimed that Uber drivers and employees had hailed and then canceled more than 5,560 Lyft rides over a 10-month period, effectively keeping Lyft’s cars busy while Uber scooped up the fares.
New York Times, “Accusations Fly Between Uber and Lyft”
5) In April, Uber began forcing their passengers to pay a so-called “safety fee.” By doing this, Uber keeps its 20% off the top and makes a rider pay extra to have a supposedly modicum of safety.
Gawker, “Why is Uber Charging You Extra to Not Get Assaulted?”
We’ve seen most of this before, and I read somewhere this week that Lyft is being accused of the same highjacking scheme as Uber. Also, Citizen Action is very close to organized labor, which is backing the taxi companies in this fight.