A downtown alderman wants to cap the surge prices ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft may charge when drivers are busy, saying he’s hearing about “passengers paying a small fortune for short trips.”
Under the ordinance Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, said he will introduce to the City Council on Wednesday, surge pricing could only be set up to 150% of the normal fare during times of “peak demand.”
“Every day I receive complaints about the exorbitant prices Uber and Lyft are charging their passengers for relatively short trips that used to only cost a few dollars,” Reilly said in a statement.
Representatives of Uber and Lyft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Cabdrivers have been warning for years that the ride-share companies would drive them out of business, then be free to charge higher rates. Reilly said he’s worried that’s happening.
“I hear from women working late hours in the hospitality industry, who can no longer afford a safe car trip home from work late at night,” he said. “Instead, they are forced to risk their personal safety using the CTA system. This wasn’t a problem before the obliteration of the taxicab industry.”
Reilly’s ordinance sets fines of $100 to be paid by the ride-share companies for each fare that exceeds the cap.
Representatives for Mayor Lori Lightfoot did not respond to questions about whether she supports the cap.