Sandoval-rideshare-presser-040214SPRINGFIELD –Senate Transportation Committee Chair State Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) and State Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles), Republican Spokesperson for the Senate Transportation Committee, joined today to call for increased public awareness of for-profit ride-share programs.

“We are asking that the Illinois Department of Transportation, the State Police, the Secretary of State and the Illinois Commerce Commission issue a consumer advisory while we sort out the complications of appropriately regulating this new transportation option,” said Sandoval. “Consumers need to know that they could be in danger.”

“At a recent hearing we heard from insurance experts and representatives from the Department of Insurance who testified that customers, drivers, and pedestrians are potentially put in harm’s way because of a lack of sufficient insurance coverage by for-profit commercial ride-sharing companies like UberX, Lyft, and Sidecar,” said Sandoval. “Public safety is a bipartisan issue, and today we’re reaching across the aisle and coming together to make sure the public is safe”

The March 13 hearing, held in Chicago, was entitled, “Closing the Insurance Gap: Examining Insurance Practices of For-Profit Commercial Ride-Share Companies Operating in Illinois.” The committee concluded that customers and drivers fall into an insurance gap when they use for-profit ride-sharing services like UberX, Lyft, and Sidecar. Unfortunately, these for-profit ride-sharing companies did not fully cooperate during the hearing and refused to disclose details of their insurance policies.

According to McConnaughay and Sandoval, legislators have an obligation to ensure consumer protection and safety standards on our highways and roads, saying these companies need to provide more details about how they protect consumers and the public.

Sandoval and McConnaughay detailed the requirements that any legislation must meet so that the public can safely use these types of for-profit ride-share services. First, any legislative measure must ensure that these companies provide adequate commercial insurance that covers all drivers, riders and pedestrians. Additionally, background checks need to be conducted to make sure drivers do not have criminal records, and vehicles in use must be well maintained and regularly inspected.

Various legislative proposals remain under consideration.

WHO: Sen. Martin Sandoval (D – Chicago) – District 11, Transportation Committee Chair
           Sen. Karen McConnaughay (R – St. Charles) – District 33, Transportation Committee, GOP Spokesman

WHAT:  Senator Sandoval and Senator McConnaughay will to call for increased public awareness of for-profit ride-share programs.

WHEN:  Wednesday, April 2, 2014
             12:15 PM

WHERE:  Blue Room, Room 010, Illinois State Capitol, Springfield


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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