Cab coalition sues city over ride-sharing companies

Cab coalition sues city over ride-sharing companies

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A coalition of taxi companies and a group that provides rides for people with disabilities filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the City of Chicago in federal court Thursday morning.

The suit takes aim at the growing number of so-called "ride-sharing" companies, like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, which use computer apps to connect people needing rides with drivers looking to make some money.

Cab companies say the city has allowed these services to flourish with little or no regulation, which is creating unfair competition for traditional cabdrivers who have to be licensed, trained, inspected and pay insurance, taxes and fees.


City Council took up an ordinance on Wednesday that would allow the city to begin regulating the shared rides and force them to meet some of the requirements placed upon taxi companies.

But those who filed the lawsuit on Thursday said that new ordinance doesn't go far enough. They said the measure discriminates against people with disabilities and people who live in poor neighborhoods or don't have access to computers.

Since the ride-sharing services started about a year ago, the cab companies said they have seen business drop dramatically. They said it's also hurting the value of their city medallion, which allows them to operate.

One can driver told FOX 32 News he paid $370,000 for his medallion a few years ago. Now they are being sold for under $300,000.

FOX 32 had yet to receive a response from City Hall as of noon on Thursday.

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