Transport Cars

Illinois Wants to Regulate Car-Share Disruptors Like Traditional Taxi Companies

Mar 27, 2014 4:30 pm

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Nothing wrong with making everyone play by the same rules, especially when one party has a multi-billion dollar valuation.

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Zbigniew Bzdak  / Chicago Tribune/MCT

Limousine driver Florian Bucea checks his Uber service in Chicago, Illinois, on March 25, 2013. The service allows riders to schedule service through a phone app and dispatches drivers. The company wants to expand service to the Chicago suburbs. Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/MCT


Ride-share companies like UberX and Lyft would face regulations similar to those of cab companies under a measure advanced by an Illinois House committee Wednesday.

Among other proposed standards, the bill would require chauffer licenses for drivers who give rides on behalf of the companies, require regular vehicle inspections, limit hours drivers can be on the road, require accessible vehicles for passengers with disabilities and prohibit price gouging.

The bill has gained some bipartisan sponsorship among legislators and has the support of the taxicab industry officials who say the ride-share companies should face stringent regulations just like traditional taxi drivers do. Opponents of the bill, including a lobbyist for Lyft, also testified at the Wednesday hearing, arguing the bill would stifle business growth.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration, which has allowed ride-share companies to run for two years in what city officials acknowledge is a regulatory vacuum, also recently proposed some rules, which the taxicab industry has said do not go far enough. Emanuel’s ordinance is expected to be discussed at Thursday council committee meeting.

The sponsor of the state legislation, Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside, said after the hearing Wednesday he will continue to work with key players to amend the legislation before any vote by the full House.

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