sandoval-munoz-rideshare-presserState Senators Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) and Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) joined State Representatives Mike Zalewski  (D-Riverside) and Dennis M. Reboletti (R-Addison) at a press conference in bipartisan support of House Bill 4075, known as the Ridesharing Arrangements and Consumer Protection Act.

“If taxi drivers and chauffer drivers are doing it, then they [commercial ridesharing companies] should be under the same regulations,” said Munoz. “When consumers are utilizing Sidecars or taxi drivers it’s in the best interest of the citizens to have safety on our side.”

The legislation would require commercial ridesharing companies to have suitable insurance, hire appropriately licensed drivers, use safety inspected vehicles,  and serve consumers with disabilities and underserved communities.

“We have held hearings and discussions with these ridesharing companies,” said Sandoval, Chairman of the Transportation Committee. “It was very clear by listening to testimony of insurance experts that pedestrians and riders as well as the drivers of these ridesharing companies are in harm’s way.”

Statewide standards would also:

• Close the insurance gap ($500,000 combined commercial liability insurance)
• Require chauffer licenses for all drivers
• Eliminate the use of waivers of liability by rideshare companies
• Require vehicle safety standards, including regular inspections
• Limit hours drivers can be on the road with a maximum 10-hour driving shift in a 24-hour period
• Prohibit price gouging
• Require accessible vehicles for passengers with disabilities
• Require compliance with local service standards, including service to low-income communities
• Require vehicle marking and clear posting of a phone number for customer complaints
• Allow communities to establish and enforce stricter oversight over rideshare companies, but not  ignore the statewide regulatory threshold established by the General Assembly

HB 4075 is scheduled to be heard in the House Business and Occupational Licenses Committee on March 26.

Watch Senator Sandoval's comments: 

(CHICAGO) – Today, Illinois State Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago), Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee held a hearing where more public safety gaps were uncovered in the ridesharing industry currently operating in Illinois.  

Insurance industry experts testified today that drivers’ personal auto insurance does not cover rideshare drivers, passengers, occupants of other vehicles or pedestrians as the rideshare companies have claimed. Further, “excess” or “drop-down” insurance is unlikely to provide coverage in the event of an accident.

“After listening to our expert witnesses, it is very clear that Illinois residents are not covered and are not protected when they are a driver or a passenger of one of these ridesharing services,” said Senator Sandoval. “What’s not clear is why these companies have not come forward to answer very basic questions about public safety and have refused to provide copies of their insurance policies so that people can see if they’re protected. What are they hiding? The people of Illinois deserve to know.”

Representatives from UberX, Lyft, and Sidecar were invited to answer questions at today’s hearing and were asked to produce a copy of their insurance policies. The companies did not testify nor did they provide the Committee with any proof of insurance.  

At the conclusion of today’s hearing, Senator Sandoval asked the Illinois Department of Insurance to determine if they have the ability to subpoena these rideshare companies for a copy of their insurance policies. If it is determined the Department does not have the authority to issue those subpoenas, Senator Sandoval will seek authorization from Senate President Cullerton to subpoena the insurance policies.

“While these rideshare companies may be relatively new in Illinois, we as elected officials have always had a responsibility to protect the public,” Senator Sandoval said.   “These companies’ refusal to participate in this hearing today shows a troubling lack of concern for public safety.”

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Sandoval-rideshare-cmteIllinois State Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago), Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee today announced he will hold a committee hearing next Thursday, March 13, on a number of public safety questions about new transportation providers in the state of Illinois, including Uberx, Lyft and Sidecar.

The purpose of the hearing is to determine what specific gaps concerning insurance and public safety currently exist and how to best implement policies to protect the citizens of Illinois. The committee has invited members of the ride-share community to explain their insurance policies and safety training materials.

“Over the years the Illinois Senate led by Senate President John Cullerton has worked hard to improve the safety of Illinois’ streets and highways,” said Chairman Sandoval. “Recent news reports have raised the concern of possible safety gaps created by new transportation companies operating in Illinois, specifically concerns about adequate insurance. When an Illinois citizen steps into a taxi, they expect they are properly protected and covered by our laws governing operations and insurance requirements. It is not entirely clear these new ‘rideshare’ companies are following necessary public safety standards including adequate insurance, criminal background checks and vehicle maintenance.”

The Senate Transportation Committee has requested full commercial insurance policies of UberX, Lyft and Sidecar demonstrating they have full commercial insurance as well as copies of all training/safety manuals offered to drivers of these ride-share companies.

In addition to the ride-share companies themselves, the committee expects to hear testimony from representatives of the Illinois Department of Insurance, automobile insurance providers, legal experts and representatives of the taxi industry.

This week President Barack Obama announced plans to increase investment in infrastructure. Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Martin Sandoval spoke about his reaction to this plan: 

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