Alderman Patrick O’Connor, 40th Ward:
As a several-times user of Uber, I am very disturbed about the proposed regulations on ridesharing in Chicago. Uber has been very convenient to my wife and me, aged 72 and 84 respectively and recently of your ward, moving from Oak Park, and I know also for our daughters, who live in or near our (your) ward.
We don’t have smart phones but they do, and with their help Uber has been an important convenience both here and, I remember vividly, in Queens, NY, where we attended a family wedding a few years back.
In addition, we read and understand clearly enough how ridesharing has provided new opportunities for Chicagoans to earn extra money, work flexible hours, and control their own destiny. I have special feeling about this, having worked most of my life, after my newspaper (Chicago Daily News) folded, as a free-lancer. The experience has been life- and political opinion-changing for me, making of me an economic libertarian and dyed-in-the-wool adherent of a free market.
The problem with this misguided regulatory proposal is that it flies in the face of entrepreneurial initiative, which ultimately is the sole source of our prosperity. In sum, the proposal would harm rideshare entrepreneurs and passengers alike.
To require part-time drivers to obtain the same licensing required for full-time work is a sure way to eliminate competition. Chicago already has rules in place for ridesharing. The City Council should seek to enforce those rules, not add new requirements.
Please oppose this anti-consumer-choice, anti-innovation ordinance and reaffirm Chicago’s position as a leader in the global marketplace.