'Day Without A Cab Driver' Protest Was A Bust

By aaroncynic in News on Oct 9, 2015 6:45PM

The ‘day without a cab driver’ was a little more like a day without some cab drivers.

Cab drivers unhappy with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plans to tack on more surcharges and fees, and let ride-share services like Uber and Lyft start picking up fares from the airport, staged a 24 hour strike yesterday, but less than half the city's fleet participated, according to reports.

The strike, called by the United Taxidrivers Community Council, was to last all day Thursday through Friday, but cabs could be seen picking up fares through the Loop and at both airports. While there were remarkably fewer on the streets Thursday and wait times were increased, the UTCC only represents about 700 of Chicago’s 12,000 cab drivers, which possibly contributed to the strike’s mixed results.

"The reason I'm working is because I'm not the only one losing the business," Salid Warsam, a driver, told ABC7. Despite the lack of total participation however, customers said they noticed the difference, particularly downtown. “Usually I’m in by now. It depends how many people get off the train, Shanwn Farrell, a cab passenger, told CBS2.

Drivers say that the lack of regulation on ride share services like Uber is why they decided to strike. Penn Tanni, a striking driver, said:

“It looks like the city don’t care about us. They allow the ride-share services to do what we are doing, but they don’t pay the city as much as the taxi companies do.”