Naperville could 'level the playing field' between taxis, ride-sharing

Naperville may soon give up the work of overseeing 312 taxi drivers each year and leave it instead to the 14 taxi companies that operate in the city.

City council members began early discussions about deregulating the taxi industry in light of lesser restrictions placed on similar competing industries such as ride-sharing companies and shuttle providers.

City Clerk Pam Gallahue said it's a time-consuming task for her office to process a background check for each taxi driver every year, calling it a "significant amount of work."

The city hasn't added to that work, however, by requiring the same background check submission by all drivers for services such as Uber or Lyft, which operate in Naperville, or drivers of a new type of three-wheeled shuttle called a tuk tuk. That began to raise fairness questions, Gallahue said, and council members gave early indications that they agree.

Mayor Steve Chirico said removing the city background check requirement and instead trusting companies to check the criminal history of their drivers would "level the playing field between taxi services and other ride-sharing services."

"It seems like the right thing to do," he said.

Now city staff members in Gallahue's office will develop a proposal for how the decreased taxi regulations could work. The city council then would consider and vote on the new rules before they could go into effect.

Naperville council divided on regulating ride-sharing

Tuk Tuk shuttles coming to downtown Naperville

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