Gov. Quinn vetoes Illinois ridesharing regulations - FOX 32 News Chicago

Gov. Quinn vetoes Illinois ridesharing regulations

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A taxicab industry spokeswoman said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has vetoed legislation that would have given customers some protection in the emerging ridesharing industry.

Quinn vetoed two bills Monday that would have regulated the industry that connects passengers with drivers using personal vehicles to give rides.

Traditional taxi drivers and cab companies had planned a rally to urge Gov. Quinn to sign into law new rules for rideshare services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. It became an angry protest when Quinn vetoed those rules minutes before the gathering began.

Cabbies complain that government regulators impose big costs on them that rideshare companies don't face.

“If I don't do it seven days a week, then it just won't be any profit for me at all,” said veteran Chicago cab driver Edwin Cueva.

Cueva said he works up to 70 hours a week, but he faces about $600 a week in expenses that rideshare drivers don't face.

Cab owner Ismail Onay said he paid $120,000 for his taxi medallion. He suggested City Hall should buy it back now that he's competing with rideshare companies that don't need medallions.

“It means disaster. I cannot really operate in these conditions,” Onay said.

Gov. Quinn in a veto message said rideshares should be regulated by local City Halls, not by Springfield.

The vast majority of rideshare drivers are part-timers, such as Rev. Darryl Powell. Working 15 hours a week for Lyft, for the past year, supplemented his family's finances as Powell prepared for a job at a new church.

“The big winners in the midst of this becomes the consumers. The consumers get to still have a choice,” Powell said.

Tens of thousands of Chicago consumers have voted with their dollars in favor of ridesharing. By the way, City Hall's new rideshare rules -- supported by Uber -- take effect Tuesday.

Among requirements: vehicle inspections and, for drivers, criminal background checks and some, limited training.

Mara Georges is an attorney for the Illinois Transportation Trade Association. She said the veto puts Quinn on the same side as Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner and "Silicon Valley billionaires, instead of on the side of Illinois consumers."

Rauner had called on Quinn to veto the bills.

Bill sponsors said they're considering next steps, including a possible override vote.

FOX 32's Joanie Lum contributed to this story.

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