To Level the Playing Field Evanston lifts rules and fees for taxi owners

by Sean Riley


ChicagoTribune

Evanston officials have dropped many of the rules and fees that formerly applied to local taxi owners, responding to their plea to be placed on a level playing field with services such Uber and Lyft.

At the July 25 City Council Administration and Public Works Committee meeting, aldermen dropped many of the license fees and regulations for local taxi owners.

Grant Farrar, the city's corporation counsel, drew up the changes, condensing an 18-page list of regulations into four pages. Under the changes, taxis soliciting business in Evanston will be required to register annually with the city and maintain proof of current registration in a readily observable place in the taxi, Farrar said.

Past regulations such as passing a city inspection or the minimum age of a car in use "are all gone, those are all falling by the wayside" said Farrar, responding to comments from a taxi owner at the meeting.

"What we're trying to do is follow state law," he said.

The changes provide that every motor vehicle operating within the city be required to comply with the state vehicle code and also maintain liability insurance, Farrar said of requirements which also apply to Uber and Lyft drivers.

As long as whatever vehicle is being operated as a taxi within the city limits submits to and passes the state safety test and can provide to the city then "you're good to go," he said. [MORE]