In Transit Blog: In Illinois, a Challenge to Services Like Uber

Written By wartini cantika on Rabu, 16 Juli 2014 | 17.35

The ride-sharing services UberX, Sidecar and Lyft may soon find it almost impossible to operate in Illinois.

The Illinois General Assembly recently approved House Bill 4075, the Ridesharing Arrangements and Consumer Protection Act, and sent it to Gov. Pat Quinn to sign.

The bill attempts to bring ride-sharing services in line with regulations for taxi and livery businesses by, among other things, requiring that drivers who work more than 18 hours per week get chauffeur's licenses and special registration plates for their vehicles.

It also requires that ride-sharing cars be less than four years old and that dispatchers insure drivers who do not have insurance. The law also effectively quashes "surge pricing," or higher-than-normal prices charged by some ride-share companies at high-demand times, by limiting prices to the highest charged by taxis.

Proponents of the law say their argument is based on consumer safety. "All drivers, regardless of how many hours they work, must have commercial liability insurance to protect passengers, pedestrians and the drivers themselves," according to the website of Who's Driving Illinois, lobbying for the bill's passage.

Critics say the law is anti-consumerist and anti-entrepreneurial. "This bill destroys jobs by requiring even part-time drivers who occasionally work more to get a professional chauffeur's license," according to an on-line petition that UberX is circulating.

Although the law would apply statewide, it is clearly aimed at Chicago, the only city in Illinois in which the companies Lyft, Sidecar and UberX operate.


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