Illinois lawmakers want to regulate rideshare services

Illinois seeks to regulate rideshare services

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A dispute among taxi companies, Chicago officials and rideshare companies such as UberX, Lyft and Sidecar is about to welcome one more player: state lawmakers who say the rideshare industry needs to play by the same rules as other transportation businesses.

"There is not a constitutional right to be free from competition."

It's called smartphone-based ridesharing technology. Drivers, most of them in unmarked vehicles or ones with pink mustaches, give riders a lift from point A-to-B.

"Ridesharing installs an app on a smart phone and puts credit card information into the app. Then using the GPS on the smartphone, one can request a ride," said Dan Burgess, a rideshare driver.

Some riders said ridesharing is convenient because the driver is there when you want it. Also, the ride is often cheaper.

However, Chicago cab drivers said ridesharing drivers are cutting into their fare. Chicago cab drivers have already filed a lawsuit against rideshare drivers who they say discriminate by not going into minority neighborhoods and only responding to riders through technology. Some state lawmakers agree, and they're in Springfield trying to ban ridesharing in Illinois altogether.

On Tuesday in federal court, rideshare drivers with Lyft, UberX and Sidecar responded and filed their own suit. They claim Chicago cabbies can't handle the competition.

Cabbies responded that the City of Chicago holds them to a list of rules and regulations, and that rideshare drivers should be held to the same standards.

"Every year we have to renew our license, we have to pass the drug test, we have to do the physical test, and we have to do all the legal stuff to get the chauffeurs license," said a Chicago cab driver.

"We have to pay for insurance. We have to go to school and get our license, and they're not doing none of those. They just get up and drive," another Chicago cab driver added.

"We have rules. They do background checks, my driving record was checked…you can't have more than 2 moving violations in three years," said Dustin Morby, a rideshare driver.

The proposal is scheduled to be heard in a House committee on Wednesday.

The bill is HB4075.

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