Chicago City Council Passes Rideshare Ordinance

In a vote that won by a
margin of 34 to 10, the Chicago city council passed a new ordinance that
regulates rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. Although the new legislation
puts tighter restrictions on these companies, they did not go as far as the
taxi companies would like. There could be further restrictions coming from the
Illinois Legislature within the next few months. A bill has already passed the state House.  the taxi companies have been
lobbying hard within the city and state, looking to ensure that rideshare
companies undergo the same scrutiny that they have been under for years.

The new ordinance
delineates the types of drivers into two categories. Class A drivers
average 20 hours or less per week taking fares and Class B averages more than
20 hours per week. Below is a complete breakdown of restrictions that the
ordinance will require.

Rideshare Class
A:

Fares: Based on a suggested donation, distance
traveled, time elapsed during the trip, both time and distance, or a flat,
pre-arranged fare. Cannot pick up street hails or use taxi stands.
Surge pricing: Must notify the public during price surge periods and provide
riders with a fare quote in actual dollars in addition to the rate multiplier.
City has the right to cap surge pricing.
Licenses: Pay $10,000 for an annual transportation network provider
license.
Insurance: Have $1 million in commercial auto liability per incident
while the driver has accepted a ride until the completion of the ride, $1
million in commercial general liability per occurrence for bodily injury,
personal injury and property damage, and auto liability insurance to cover
drivers when logged into app until the driver accepts a ride.
Advertising: Prohibited on or in rideshare vehicles.
Vehicles: Must pass city-approved vehicle inspection standards. Could
permit smoking. No vehicle age limit. Must display distinctive signage visible
for at least 50 feet.
Drivers: Must be 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license. Cannot
drive more than 10 hours with a 24-hour period. Must complete city-approved
driver training program.
Background checks: Must pass city-approved background check process as conducted
by the rideshare company. Cannot within 12 months have had license suspended or
revoked or convictions of reckless driving, hit and run, driving with a
suspended or revoked license, or more than two moving violations; Cannot have
convictions within five years for felonies, DUIs, crimes of moral turpitude,
sale or possession of controlled substances or any criminal sexual abuse.
Airports/convention center:
 Prohibited unless the city deems
pick-up safe without disrupting traffic flow and collects a tax from companies.
Accessibility
: Required to have apps accessible to visually and
hearing impaired by Jan. 1. Pay 10 cents per ride by a non-wheelchair accessible
vehicle into the accessibility fund. Must offer accessible vehicles and can
contract with third-parties to deliver service.
Ground transportation tax: Pay 20 cents per vehicle per ride
accepted.

Rideshare Class B:

Fares: (Same as Class A) 

Surge pricing: (Same as Class A) 
Licenses: Pay $25,000 for an annual
transportation network provider license. Need a restricted public chauffeurs
license for rideshare drivers. 

Insurance: (Same as Class A) 
Advertising: (Same as Class A) 
Vehicles: Must pass 21-point inspection
annually from third-party licensed mechanic. Allowed to be up to six years old.
Could permit smoking. Must display distinctive signage visible for at least 50
feet.

Drivers: (Same as Class A) 
Background checks: (Same as Class A with
the exception that the city will conduct the background check and drug
test.) 

Airports/convention center: (Same as
Class A) 

Accessibility: (Same as Class A with the
exception paying $100 per year for each non-wheelchair accessible vehicle into
the accessibility fund.) 

Ground transportation tax: Pay $3.50 per
each day the vehicle is used to provide service.

I agree
with what the city council has done in this situation. Specifically, I agree
with the requirement that each vehicle carry $1,000,000 per accident in
insurance coverage and that the drivers undergo background checks and must pass
driver tests. I believe this will better protect passengers and pedestrians and hopefully prevent traffic accidents. One problem I foresee is how it will be determined
who is a Class A or B driver. The city is putting this on the rideshare
companies to monitor themselves. Do we really know or believe that these companies
will follow through and monitor how many hours each of their drivers will be
working and then implement the appropriate restrictions? I guess we will have
to wait and see.

If you
or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384.

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