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posted: 11/14/2017 11:31 AM

Cabdrivers union blasts Emanuel's plan to save taxi industry

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to save Chicago's dying taxicab industry sailed through a City Council committee Monday over the strenuous objections of a union representing cabbies.

Meg Lewis, campaign coordinator for Cabdrivers United, a union affiliated with AFSCME Council 31, argued that opening the door for cabdrivers to drive older vehicles -- while joining their ride-hailing competitors in charging surge prices, and being screened without fingerprinting -- is not the answer to what ails the taxicab industry.

It's more like closing the barn door after the horses are already out. She noted that "nearly 2,000" taxicab medallions are either in foreclosure or surrendered to the city" and still more are "off the road."

Lewis accused Emanuel, whose brother is an Uber investor, of "slipping in" provisions that "reduce transparency and safety" for Uber, Lyft and Via.

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