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Evanston aldermen tonight will again discuss an ordinance that would regulate transportation network providers like Uber, Sidecar and Lyft.

The aldermen backed away from imposing such regulations last September and at least some of them suggested as an alternative reducing the regulation of taxicab companies in the city.

But the ordinance scheduled to be introduced tonight is essentially identical to the proposal advanced by City Corporation Counsel Grant Farrar last September.

Farrar says it made sense to defer action then because proposals were pending in Springfield that would have overruled municipal regulation of the services. Those proposals, backed by the taxicab industry, died at the end of last year’s legislative session.

The proposed ordinance — largely modeled on one adopted last year by the City of Chicago — would impose a license fee of up to $25,000 on transportation network providers — the same fee as in Chicago, with a population more than 35 times that of Evanston.

It also contains a provision that would bar providers licensed in another jurisdiction from serving passengers for trips within Evanston. How that provision would affect providers licensed both in Evanston and elsewhere is not specified in the ordinance.

The ordinance would also require providers to have an office either in Evanston or Chicago and impose various other restrictions, including insurance, vehicle inspection and driver licensing requirements.

Related stories

Aldermen back away from rideshare clampdown

City seeks to regulate ridesharing firms

Is Uber a threat to Evanston?

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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4 Comments

  1. What would possess Evanston
    What would possess Evanston to think it could justify the same license fee as the City of Chicago. Its attempts at actions like there that make home rule preemption a viable and important option to keep on the table. Thankfully we have a GOP Governor that just may help to control the tree huggers.

  2. deregulate
    The City regulates taxicabs, inspects taxis? What a joke! How, exactly, has city regulation provided anything of benefit to customers. They simply have increased the cost to customers, nothing more. Every single cab I have ever been forced to use in Evanston has been a piece of filthy, dirty junk, rattling noises and funky smells. And it’s not unusual to wait 15-30 minutes for that pleasure.

    They should deregulate the taxi cabs so they are not at an economic disadvantage to Uber, simply require all drivers to hold valid license and that adequate insurance is in force, then get out of the way.

    I just dropped my car off at autobarn, literally 3 hours ago, used Uber to get home. Driver arrived in less than 5 minutes, clean car in excellent condition, a hybrid, friendly driver, no speeding like a maniac, no dealing with a driver turned surly over credit card usage.

    Deregulate the taxis, erase the economic disadvantage the City imposes upon them, competition on a level basis is all that’s needed to provide better/cheaper/more efficient service to customers, City “regulation” certainly hasn’t provided any of that, so the only reason to expand regulation is to simply extort more cash.

    1. Deregulate

      Exactly correct. Taxis round here are typically dirty and unreliable. Does every Evanston taxi have a burned out rear wheel bearing? It sure sounds like it to me. Uber cars are clean and reliable and arrive when they say they will. Drivers are alert and informed. Evanston's main business is food and entertainment. Why would the City even think of making it harder for people from Lincolnwood and Skokie and Chicago etc. to get here, and more importantly to get home after a night out? With Uber you can come here on public transportation knowing that later in the evening if you don't want to wait for a bus or train you can uber home. Let's not be Luddites.

  3. No Way

    This is way to much regulation. I believe we need a new City Corporation Counse, the current one seems to be broken. It seems like he aways wants to use a Chicago law. Regulations in Chicago do not fit Evanston.

    Evanston should be trying not to be like Chicago.

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