I’ve blogged about my personal satisfaction with Uber, mostly in Chicago and NYC, such as:
– Uber Goes To Vegas! (kind of)
– Another Reason To Uber: Lost Items Help!

But the cheapest Uber option, UberX, just got dealt a potential major blow today as an Illinois Bill was sent to the Governor’s desk after passing both the Illinois House (80-26-00) and Senate (46-08-02). HB 4075 (found here) would create immediate changes in Illinois law including:

  • Commercial ridesharing shall obey local government restrictions on location (think airports and convention centers!).
  • Drivers of vehicles used in rideshares shall meet the requirements of the local unit of government for chauffeurs regarding wheelchair access.
  • Requires dispatchers to submit evidence of insurance that will provide coverage for the driver and the vehicle.
  • Provides that the license, registration, and display requirements for drivers and vehicles in a commercial ridesharing arrangement only apply to drivers or vehicles that participate in commercial ridesharing arrangements for more than 18 hours per week.
  • Provides that dispatchers assume liability, including liability for legal defense costs, for any claims that arise out of the involvement of a driver or vehicle that is available for dispatch or in use in a commercial ridesharing arrangement.
  • Provides that the insurer of a motor vehicle used in a commercial ridesharing arrangement may deny coverage during the time the vehicle is made available for dispatch or used in a commercial ridesharing arrangement.
  • Requires dispatchers to make this insurance information available to the drivers and owners of vehicles used in commercial ridesharing arrangements.
  • Provides a duty on the part of dispatchers to keep the owner and insurer of a vehicle used in commercial ridesharing arrangements notified of information involving the use of the vehicle, including its involvement in accidents.
  • Prevents local units of government from adopting regulations inconsistent with the hours requirement or the requirement that dispatchers negotiate the fare prior to dispatch.

Uber responds to the pending Bill on its blog here. Uber argues:

  • Safety: “HB 4075 does NOTHING to improve safety standards for riders or drivers.”
  • Insurance: “Uber partners already carry significantly higher insurance coverage and adhere to stricter safety standards than other transportation options in the city of Chicago.”
  • Consumer Transportation Options: “Caps on flexible supply: restricting drivers ability to get on the road means fewer cars when you need them. That means more stranded people, more DUIs, and less service to underserved communities that need rides the most.”
  • Jobs: “Full-time red tape for part-time drivers: ridesharing creates thousands of jobs for people in need of cash to pay their bills. This bill destroys jobs by requiring even part-time drivers who occasionally work more to get a professional chauffeurs license.”
  • Consumer Costs: “Higher costs: applying old insurance models to rideshare drivers that already have nearly 3X the level of insurance as taxis is a maneuver by taxi companies intended to drive costs up for consumers, and protect the taxi monopoly that costs us all dearly.”

And Uber asks readers to Make your voice heard. Tell Governor Quinn to veto HB 4075.

More To The Story…
According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Uber is set to expand its Chicago office “from 75 workers to 500 by the end of 2016″ paying “$50,000 to more than $100,000 a year each.” Now this all comes with a big HOWEVER when faced with the fallout on how such a new law may damage/alter/hinder/etc. Uber’s commerce in Chicagoland.

Stay tuned (as the lobbies battle this out behind the scenes)…

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.