Chicago expects stricter rules for Uber drivers

Chicago: A ride-share ordinance passed at the Chicago City Council meeting will increase regulations for Uber and Lyft drivers in Chicago. The ordinance, promoted by the taxicab industry, has subjected Uber and Lyft drivers to some of the same regulations for cab drivers, including fingerprinting, drug tests and city debt checks, Xinhua news agency quoted Chicago Tribune as saying on Saturday. The Rideshare Reform ordinance also requires drivers to obtain restricted public chauffeur licenses and mandates that five percent of ride-sharing fleets be wheelchair-accessible. The ordinance won applause as well as opposition. Alderman Anthony Beale, who vigorously sponsored the ordinance, told Chicago Tribune that the ordinance was to protect consumers. "This was about consumer protection, as well as making sure Uber and Lyft provide transportation to the disabled community," he said. Mara Georges of the Illinois Transportation Trade Association, which represents cab medallion owners and operators, said the current situation was killing the cab industry. The opposition is also strong. Uber and Lyft officials have threatened to pull out of Chicago or alter the services they offer here greatly. Uber said the ordinance would make it nearly twice as expensive to get a ride. There are roughly 90,000 registered Uber and Lyft drivers in Chicago.