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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Anthony Beale, Chairman of the City Council Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, today introduced a broad set of reforms to taxi industry regulations to incentivize quality vehicles, quality drivers and a quality customer experience. The proposed changes to the taxi ordinance make specific improvements in a number of key areas that will result in increased safety for passengers, drivers, and pedestrians, while revamping regulations and providing financial incentives to put fuel-efficient and wheelchair-accessible taxis on the road.
”These reforms will increase safety and bring Chicago’s taxi fleet into the 21st century by enhancing oversight of drivers, ensuring vehicles are modern and more fuel-efficient, and giving customers a cleaner and safer ride,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These advances in the taxi industry are part of a comprehensive effort to help Chicagoans get where they need to go safely and affordably.”
The reforms begin with measures and incentives that will modernize the fleet of cabs. They will include:
“These are commonsense reforms that are in line with the interests of cabdrivers, passengers, and the companies,” said Alderman Beale. “The result will be a more efficient taxi industry that will serve the public in a better, more efficient, and most importantly, safer manner.”
The reforms result from a comprehensive review of the taxi industry led by the City and include input from taxi companies, drivers, independent owner-operators and aldermen. Reforms touch all aspects of the taxi industry and include:
The ordinance will be proposed at the City Council meeting on December 14, by Alderman Beale.
Officials in the taxi industry voiced their support of the proposed reforms on Monday.
"These new ordinances represent a win for passengers, drivers and medallion operators alike. The provisions created to promote technological advancement and fuel efficiency will enable us to further the programs and ideals to which we have already committed our firm,” said Michael Levine, CEO of Yellow Cab Chicago.
Sabir Waheed, who owns nine taxi medallions, stated "This effort shows a commitment by the City to the small to mid-size owners in the taxi industry."
"These reforms point the industry in the right direction,” said Baxter Swilley, representing the Chicago Taxicab Operators Association.
And Cometus Dilanjian, President of City Service Taxi Association, said "This new regulation is cleaner and simpler for industry to follow."
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