So-called ridesharing companies are dangling promises of expansion if legislation affecting the industry is vetoed. Companies like Uber allow people to hail rides from drivers via a smartphone app. A bill awaiting action by the governor would impose similar regulations on the industry as taxis, but Uber Chicago General Manager Chris Taylor says holding his company to the same requirements for insurance coverage and background checks as taxis isn’t about safety.
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“The bill puts up a ton of barriers that make it really difficult to operate,” Taylor said. “It applies models from other industries to a new technology-enabled industry in an inappropriate way.”
Taylor says Uber is considering expanding outside of Chicago to places like Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, and the Metro East. That won’t happen, according to Taylor, if those regulations are put into place.
“You know, honestly, we wanna bring it to all those other parts of the state…and yeah, we don’t think we could do that,” Taylor said.
Taylor believes the bill is just the taxi industry’s way of getting rid of a lower-priced competitor.