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Cab Drivers Angry About Uber Dare You To Imagine A Day Without Them

By aaroncynic in News on Oct 7, 2015 7:50PM

A yellow cab (Photo by Elena Kovalevich via the Chicagoist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

Calling it a “day without a cab driver,” the United Taxidrivers Community Council says drivers will refuse to pick up fares for a full 24 hours to protest the lack of regulation on services like Uber and Lyft.

In September, Emanuel proposed a host of fees and surcharges for both cab drivers and rideshare companies, as well as a measure to allow rideshare services to pick up riders from airports and McCormick Place. Drivers say the increase in fees for cabs is much higher than that of rideshare services, and that the city already favors the less regulated transportation providers. According to the UTCC, cabs lost 30 to 40 percent of their business over the summer, and rides to airports have “airports have also disappeared from the cabbie’s economic landscape.”

“I get a 20 percent increase, they get a 2 percent increase—which one would you choose” said one driver in a press conference Wednesday afternoon, according to Fox 32.

After a budget hearing on the matter last week, Business Affairs Commissioner Maria Guerra Lapacek defended the difference in regulation. “They may not be completely identical, but we believe they're fair and consistent based on the work they do. ... A taxicab has more or less a veil of public sanctioning,” Lapacek told the Tribune.

Drivers say their strike will begin Thursday morning at 6 a.m., and last until that same time Friday morning. Uber reps fired back at the strikers Wednesday afternoon with a statement claiming Chicagoans on the South and West Sides already know what it feels like to live without cabs—referencing the difficulty some Chicagoans reporting experiencing when they try to get a cab to come to those areas of the city.