Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 Thanks Taxi Driver Fairness Ordinance Task Force Members

Over the last four months, Cab Drivers United members Ezz Abdelmagid and Michael Agunloye, joined representatives from the city on the Taxi Driver Fairness Ordinance Task Force, to review the city’s current laws that regulate the taxi industry in Chicago, and provide recommendations on desperately needed reforms.

In January, after collecting testimony at a Drivers’ Rights Board hearing, Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 released a series of recommendations aimed at pointing out the double standard the city has in place for the “rideshare” industry (with services like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar) and demanding an end to the harsh, unnecessary rules imposed on taxi drivers.

These recommendations represent the hard work and dedication of countless Cab Drivers United members, who took it upon themselves to stand together to level the playing field for all drivers.

While these recommendations touch on the detrimental impact that so-called “rideshare” services like UberX and Lyft have had on our livelihood and the public safety, real reform will come through additional legislation passed by the City Council.  In April, Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 delivered nearly 3,500 petition signatures, representing half the active cab drivers in Chicago, calling on the city to act immediately to level the playing field between licensed cab drivers and TNP drivers.  Cab Drivers United is continuing to lobby the City Council to act as part of a longer term campaign for fairness.

We thank those members involved with the Task Force for their dedication and hard work on behalf of all Chicago cab drivers!

Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 Recommendations

  • Equalize discipline, discharge and due process
    • While taxi drivers are held to a high and often unreachable standard, the city sets no standards for evaluating, disciplining or denying the right to drive to UberX or Lyft drivers.
    • CDU/AFSCME proposed reducing the timeframe for a “repeat offense” (currently defined as a second offense within five years) and limiting the city’s right to suspend or revoke licenses to serious offenses.
  • Equalize enforcement
    • While cab drivers are subject to constant scrutiny by law enforcement, TNPs are flagrantly violating the rules prohibiting them from operating at the airports and accepting street hails.
    • CDU/AFSCME proposed that the city step up enforcement of illegal TNP operations at the airports and on the streets and prosecute law-breakers.
  • Equalize accountability to public safety standards
    • Cab drivers should have the same rights that UberX drivers and the public enjoy under traffic law.
    • CDU/AFSCME proposed eliminating the rule requiring surrender of a chauffeur’s license at a traffic stop, and the policy of denying a chauffeur’s license renewal because of a single moving violation as well as creating a provision allowing police to issue a warning in place of a ticket for minor violations.  
  • Equalize accountability to customer service standards
    • The rules governing Uber and Lyft contain no provision on “discourtesy” and no authority for the city to cite drivers for customer complaints.
    • CDU/AFSCME proposed amending the rules to create a clear and reasonable definition of  “discourteous conduct”  for taxi drivers to stop the abusive enforcement of the rule by law enforcement and eliminating the rule allowing the city to use unproven allegations to deny license renewals.