Aldermen hold hearing on rideshare reform proposal

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CHICAGO -- Aldermen from two Chicago City Council committees are holding a joint hearing today on a proposed Rideshare Reform Ordinance.

The proposal, sponsored by Ald. Anthony Beale (9th Ward), would require Uber and Lyft drivers -- most of whom are part-time -- to get a chauffeur's license and submit to tougher background checks.

Uber and its supporters say this ordinance will put an end to ridesharing as we know it in Chicago. Taxi groups say the plan would help to level the competitive landscape in transportation.

Many competing interests turned out at City Hall this morning for the hearing on the ordinance  Beale calls "common sense public safety".

Beale said today that the taxi industry is extremely regulated, but ridesharing companies are not.

Uber and Lyft maintain that their companies can coexist with taxis, that rideshares are serving communities where cabs are nowhere to be found, and that cabs already have exclusive rights to pick up riders hailing on the street and dedicated lines at hotels and transit hubs.

The ordinance would also require that five percent of ridesharing fleets be wheelchair accessible. Those supporting it said it comes down to basic civil rights.

A vote on the Rideshare Reform Ordinance is scheduled for next month.

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