- Chicago ride-share and taxi drivers teamed up at a rally on Wednesday to request that the city passes legislation to cap the number of ride-share vehicles allowed in the city, according to the Chicago Tribune and others.
- Advocates want regulations similar to those passed in New York City this summer, which halted the issuance of new ride-share licenses for one year and enacted a driver minimum wage.
- The city reportedly has more than 67,000 active Uber and Lyft drivers, and just under 7,000 licensed cab drivers.
This rally isn't the first time the idea of ride-share regulations has emerged in Chicago. Two aldermen brought up a ride-share license cap and driver minimum wage just days after New York became the first U.S. city to announce ride-share regulations.
Advocates believe regulations could even the for-hire vehicle playing field, considering there is already a cap for the number of taxi medallions — which have fallen precipitously in cost over the past five years. Legislation also could benefit the industry as a whole by preventing a glut of available drivers, which has a compounding effect that leads to lower wages.
Regulation opponents, both in Chicago and New York, say that capping ride-share licenses eliminates an affordable mobility option, especially for people in areas without many safe, viable transportation options. Some also have suggested that implementing a driver minimum wage would lead ride-share companies to pass on costs to consumers, which could result in a dip in ride-share use.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel traditionally has been in favor of ride-sharing both as a mobility option and an economic driver, and he has not supported a license cap. He is not seeking re-election in February so city officials might shift gears on this topic under a new mayor, although the city's commissioner who oversees the for-hire vehicle industry has echoed the sentiment of avoiding ride-share regulations.