(Chicago) – OP-ED: Hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents use rideshare services like UberX or Lyft to get around.
These technology-based platforms operate by connecting drivers and riders to facilitate convenient transportation. Consumer demand is growing fast as riders use these services to get to work, run errands and visit popular destinations.
Rideshare fills a gap in transportation options, as many communities lack mass transit needed to effectively get around. In fact, a recent report prepared by the Northeastern Illinois Transit Task Force found that many areas in Chicagoland are transit deserts, with inadequate options for consumers. This alternative service transcends community boundaries, in a more efficient manner and at a lower cost for consumers.
Signing HB 4075 into law would increase costs for consumers, decrease economic development opportunities and hurt the ability of municipalities to attract transportation services to meet their residents’ needs.
Uber is an innovative, growing rideshare company who recently announced its Midwest Headquarters would add more than 425 highly-skilled jobs here in Chicago by 2016. The company also offers thousands of Illinois residents – veterans, teachers and retirees, stay-at-home parents – the opportunity to earn a living as a driving partner.
Rideshare services have been widely popular with consumers. Instead of waiting on the street for a taxi that may or may not come, rideshare enables users to order a ride from their phone. Immediately, they’ll know who their driver will be and how long they’ll wait. These services are incredibly valuable, offering a system that is safe and convenient for both drivers and riders.
As we work to drive economic growth in Illinois and embrace Chicago’s reputation as a hub for business and innovation, we should encourage competition. HB 4075 is the wrong move for Illinois.
We encourage Governor Quinn to veto HB 4075 to keep ridesharing technology available to the hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents who are using it. Lawmakers need to develop thoughtful legislation that will both continue protecting consumers but also allow a new, innovative industry continue to grow and benefit consumers across the state.
State Representative Sara Feigenholtz, (D-Chicago) @StateRepSara
State Senator Matt Murphy, (R-Palatine) @SenMattMurphy
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