Rideshare Bill Awaits Gov Quinn’s Signature, While Uber Announces Big Chicago Expansion

I have written multiple times about the battle between rideshare companies like Uber and their battle with taxi companies. Specifically, I wrote in May about the new legislation passed by the city council, which regulates the rideshare companies by requiring minimum insurance, caps on surge pricing and background checks for its drivers, among others.

The state version of rideshare legislation has passed both the House and Senate and is currently sitting on Governor Quinn’s desk. The state version, which can be read here, is viewed to be much more far-reaching in it’s’ regulation. It would include that all drivers obtain a chauffer’s license. The sponsor of the bill, Mike Zalewski, told Crain’s magazine “I applaud Uber for wanting to grow its business in Chicago. There is no reason why that cannot happen with this law in place to put customer safety first, as supported by a strong bi-partisan majority of the Illinois House and Senate. I hope the governor will sign it into law soon.” Zalewski believes that the regulations are in the best interest safety and welfare of the commuting public.

Meanwhile, Uber announced this month that they plan a huge expansion in Chicago that would add 500 new well paid jobs. They are urging Governor Quinn via social media and other avenues to veto the rideshare bill.

The questions remains for me: what is the best protection for the commuters and for pedestrians? It seems to me that the city legislation that passed in May was a good compromise. It required that companies like Uber increase their insurance coverage to protect injured passengers in case a significant car crash or pedestrian accident. It will be interesting to see what Governor Quinn does in this case and whether he decides to veto. I will be watching this closely and will report and write about it once any news breaks.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a serious Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

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

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
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.
: 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

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

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

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.

Chicago Rideshare Companies Await Senate, City Votes

I have written quite a
bit the last month about proposed city ordinances and state bills looking to
regulate rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. Last month the Illinois House
passed a bill that put stricter requirements on rideshare drivers, which are
similar to what cab drivers face. That bill is now going to the Senate.
Meanwhile, an ordinance with fewer restrictions is being discussed by the
Chicago city council. 

The main issue on the
state level is the amount and type of liability insurance rideshare drivers
must carry and the type of driver’s license must be obtained. The state bill
would require driver’s carry $500,000 of coverage from the time the app is
turned on in the driver’s car. 

The state bill would
also require drivers obtain a chauffer’s license, just like all cab drivers.
 The state bill would require this type of license if the driver works
over 18 hours per week looking for fares. The city ordinance would increase the
amount of hours before requiring a chauffer’s license. 

I will be watching this
very closely and will update if and when the bill reaches the Senate for a
vote. I think it’s almost a certain that all sides (taxi companies, rideshare
companies and legislators) are working behind the scenes looking for a
compromise. I believe the rideshare companies should be required to have at
least the type of insurance coverage (minimum $350,000) that taxi companies
use. The question remains whether their drivers should be required to obtain a chauffer’s
license. I would say yes because they are essentially chauffeuring people around
the city for money and customers are putting their life and health into their

If you or someone you
know has been involved in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident,
then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legalconsultation at 312-614-1076. 

IL House Passes Legislation That Regulates Chicago Ride Share Companies

I wrote recently about
certain steps taken by Chicago officials that regulate ride share companies
like Uber, Sidecar and Lyft. Specifically, the city made it a requirement for
all of these companies to carry excess or umbrella insurance for their drivers
that would cover for accidents while driving around looking for fares or
picking up customers. This was a positive step and all of the companies put out
statements that they would comply. 

The taxi companies in
Chicago were not happy and though more regulations were needed and they have
helped push through Illinois HB 4075, which states that all drivers (for
ride share companies) would be required to undergo background checks, vehicle
safety checks and have commercial insurance. Those who drive more than 18 hours
per week would need licenses and have to follow stricter city ordinances. I
think it is fair to say that taxi companies are not happy to be losing their
market share to companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. The bill will now go to
the Senate for a vote and if it passes, would be sent to Governor Quinn for his

In response to the
passage in the house, Andrew Macdonald, Uber Chicago general manager, released
the following statement.”The passage of HB4075 in its current form
destroys thousands of jobs in Chicago, slashes income opportunities for
Chicago’s rideshare drivers, and effectively shuts down uberX in

I will be following this
closely to see if there are any amendments or changes to the bill in the Senate
and whether it even passes.

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 312-614-1076.