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City seeks to regulate ridesharing firms

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An ordinance that would regulate ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft is scheduled for introduction at tonight's Evanston City Council meeting.

Corporation Counsel Grant Farrar says the proposal is largely adapted from a ridesharing regulatory scheme adopted by the City of Chicago last spring.

The Evanston ordinance would require the ridesharing network companies to pay either a $10,000 or $25,000 annual licensing fee, depending on how many hours per week they operate in Evanston. Those fees, Farrar says, are the same as those in the Chicago ordinance.

The ordinance would also set insurance requirements for providers and bar them from having any financial interest in the vehicles used to transport people through the service.

It would also set restrictions on who could drive for such services and effectively require that many drivers have a city-issued chauffeur's license.

The introduction of the new ordinance follows the veto by Gov. Quinn last month of a package of more-restrictive state ridesharing regulations backed by the taxi industry.

Last June local taxi operators called for the City Council to restrict the ridesharing operations here.

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