Chicago Taxi Industry Says City Unfairly Favoring Uber & Lyft – Federal Appeals Court to Decide

Taxi revenue is apparently down 45-50% in Chicago since Uber and Lyft began operating and the services currently have an estimated 90K drivers compared to 6.8K taxis. Taxi drivers feel it’s unfair that there are two distinct sets of rules – they need to obtain a chauffeur’s license which requires a $300 in-person class and fingerprinting while rideshare drivers simply need to take an online training. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case earlier this month. Previously, an Illinois federal judge rejected the taxi commission’s attempt to force Uber / Lyft to follow the same regulations. Making matters worse for taxi drivers, a medallion went for $357K in 2013, but recently was transferred for only $60K.

USA Today reports that:

The weaker ordinance came as Uber and Lyft threatened to leave Chicago if more onerous regulations were passed in the city. The companies did just that in Austin after voters there rejected a proposal by the companies to self-regulate their drivers and mandated that drivers undergo fingerprint background checks. “What’s the rationale for having fingerprinting for one and not the other?” said Shakman, who represent the Illinois Transportation Trade Association, which includes dozens of licensed cab companies. “What’s the rationale for requiring a chauffeur’s license for one and not the other?”

“It’s fundamentally unfair to the people who have played by the city’s rules since 1937,” said Shakman, referring to the inception of Chicago’s medallion system.

No decision has come down yet, but check out the full analysis from the paper here.

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Comments

  1. The taxi unions actually have a bit of a point. That said, people clearly prefer Uber/Lyft for more than just prices, so these constant lawsuits and complaining aren’t making consumers like taxis any more.

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