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Declining Chicago taxi business banking on ride-share limits
Sep 08


CHICAGO (AP) _ Chicago's declining taxi industry is hoping for some legislative help as it struggles to survive in the age of ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

Almost half the city's nearly 7,000 licensed cabs are in foreclosure or idled, leading to a call for regulatory intervention to keep taxi fleets working, the Chicago Tribune reported.

``Things are getting worse every day,'' said Adrian Tudor, owner of Taxi Town on Chicago's far North Side. ``It's very difficult. I'm surprised we're still alive.''

One idea is to cap the number of ride-sharing licenses in Chicago, which currently has nearly 66,000 active ride-share drivers. A similar move occurred in New York City last month in which the city approved placing a one-year moratorium on new ride-share licenses.

Tudor said such a decision would help Chicago taxis compete with ride-share drivers, particular on weekends when Uber and Lyft take over the city looking for fares.

Aldermen Anthony Beale and Edward Burke have said they're considering such a proposal, which could help taxis compete with ride-share drivers, particularly on weekends. But city officials have no plans to cap ride-sharing services right now, said Rosa Escareno, commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, which regulates taxis and ride-shares industries.

``It's the consumers that are making the choice and the consumers that are driving the type of service that they need and demand,'' Escareno said. ``We have to listen to that. It was the consumers that drove the change that is here today.''

Uber and Lyft are hoping Chicago doesn't follow New York City's ride-share caps.

``It's artificial, and it's unnecessary,'' said Lyft spokeswoman Campbell Matthews. ``Wait times would really increase for people who need these rides, who've come to rely on them. Prices would increase and (drivers) wouldn't be able to sign up to earn.''

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com


By The Associated Press, Copyright 2018