Proposed Chicago regulations on ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft have the companies threatening to cease operations in the city.
On Friday, a joint Chicago City Council committee advanced the proposed ride-hailing regulations, which would require drivers to undergo fingerprinting and background checks and obtain a chauffeur's license. Ride-hailing drivers would also face drug tests and debt checks, among other requirements.
Aldermen could take up the ordinance at the full Chicago City Council on Wednesday.
Transportation Committee Chairman Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) said the proposed regulations are meant to ensure that ride-hailing "services are safe and accountable."
The alderman maintains that drivers with ride-hailing companies "need to follow the same rules as other for-hire drivers to ensure public safety."
But ride-hailing companies argue that the proposed regulations would be costly and "onerous" for drivers.
Uber officials have pointed out that drivers already undergo background and vehicle safety checks.
UPDATE (5:28 p.m.): Some provisions of the ride-hailing ordinance are being dropped. Ald. Beale made that announcement after meeting today with representatives from Emanuel's administration, council members and Uber and Lyft lobbyists.
Under the new changes, ride-hailing drivers would not have to be fingerprinted and the companies would no longer have to designate at least 5 percent of total ride-hailing vehicles as wheelchair-accessible. Ride-hailing companies would get one year to craft and implement their own strategy for serving riders with disabilities. Over that time, ride-hailing companies would have to cover cab companies' costs for providing such services to people with disabilities.
As part of the latest proposal, the question of whether it is effective for ride-hailing drivers to get fingerprinted will also be studied over a six-month period by aldermen.