TAXICAB DRIVER FAIRNESS TASK FORCE MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE THE TAXICAB DRIVER INDUSTRY IN CHICAGO
City to Hold Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Recommendations
The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) today released recommendations from the Taxicab Driver Fairness Task Force to strengthen the taxi industry and create a fairer environment for taxicab drivers. The task force, which was charged with reviewing laws that regulate taxicab drivers and other pertinent issues with a view toward recommending new laws, policies and procedures to ensure taxicab drivers are regulated fairly, was created as a result of the Taxicab Driver Fairness Reforms introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and passed into law by City Council in December 2014.
The task force developed the following recommendations during a series of meetings where it discussed potential reforms that will continue to uphold public safety, enhance convenience for drivers, and simplify the City’s administrative hearings process for taxicab drivers.
“It was important that we bring together City employees, chauffeurs, and medallion owners to address current issues within the industry, said Maria Guerra Lapacek, Commissioner of City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP). “The outcome when everyone works together are several proposed solutions that address public safety recognize innovation within the industry reflect the diversity of the group and its strong knowledge of the taxicab industry.”
The Taxicab Driver Fairness Task Force Recommendations Are:
- Establish an ongoing dialogue between the Task Force, the City of Chicago, and other entities.
- Enhance taxicab driver security and welfare.
- Streamline the processes surrounding public chauffeur license issuance, renewal, surrender, suspension, and revocation.
- Reduce disproportionately burdensome penalties imposed upon taxicab drivers found in violation of Chicago Municipal Code or public chauffeur rules and regulations.
- Revamp onerous or outdated responsibilities of taxicab drivers.
- Enhance the day-to-day operations at Chicago airports and McCormick Place.
- Improve the processes surrounding passenger discharge, loading zones, taxicab stands, and taxicab lines.
- Improve City programs and strengthen awareness of City processes.
- Explore ways to make public restrooms and parking available to taxicab drivers.
- Ensure that lease agreements and other requirements are properly communicated and duly enforced.
“The Taxicab Driver Task Force was an excellent forum to understand problems, interact with participants, and arrive at a consensus on recommendations,” said task force member Karamjeet Singh, an active City taxicab driver for 15 years.
“It means a lot to all taxicab drivers for the City to engage us in developing these recommendations to improve the taxicab driver work environment,” said task force member Tarig Kamill, a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) taxicab driver and winner of the 2013 Taxicab Driver Excellence Award. “I would say the recommendations are almost a dream for drivers.”
George Kasp, a task force member, veteran City cab driver with 42 years’ experience, and owner-operator medallion owner said, “I feel confident that most of our recommendations will result in rule changes and policy changes. This being the first time that a group of drivers and taxi owners have been brought together as a task force, I’m encouraged that the task force will continue to hold regular meetings after our initial recommendations have been presented to the mayor.”
The Taxicab Driver Fairness Task Force was created out of the innovative Taxicab Driver Fairness Reforms introduced by Mayor Emanuel in 2014. The reforms aim to increase taxicab driver income, propel industry innovation, and improve taxicab driver experience. The reforms also take an initial step towards cutting bureaucratic red tape and improving taxicab driver interaction with the City. As a result, BACP will continue to hold ongoing meetings with taxicab drivers as a way to increase interaction between the City and the drivers as well as work to implement the recommendations.
On June 17, 2015, BACP will host a town hall meeting to share and discuss the recommendations with taxicab drivers and the industry. Full details of the Taxicab Driver Fairness Task Force recommendations, task force members, and guiding tenets are available at www.cityofchicago.org/BACP.
Town Hall Meeting
Public chauffeurs are invited to participate in a Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. at the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) Building at 2102 W. Ogden Ave., Chicago, IL.
Meeting attendees will have the opportunity to meet Commissioner Lapacek and the Taxicab Driver Fairness Task Force members, and discuss the City’s plans to better support taxicab drivers through the Taxicab Driver Fairness Task Force recommendations. Chauffeurs who are unable to attend the meeting may send comments or opinions to [email protected]
BACP oversees the licensing of Chicago’s public chauffeurs and public vehicles including taxicabs, liveries, charter and site seeing buses, horse drawn carriages, ambulances, water taxis and tour boats. The department also oversees the purchasing of taxicab medallions, vehicle inspections and rates of fare. Learn more about BACP’s Public Vehicle Operations at www.cityofchicago.org/BACP.