EXCLUSIVE: Aldermen push for ride-share drivers to get pay raise
Are Chicago’s ride-share drivers being taken for a ride?
Two top Chicago aldermen think so when it comes to the wages of ride-share drivers minus job-incurred expenses — which puts them below Chicago’s minimum wage.
Sneed has learned Aldermen Anthony Beale (9th) and Edward Burke (14th) plan to propose a little protection: a minimum pay rate for ride-share drivers that will match or exceed the Chicago minimum wage — after accounting for costs like insurance and gas expenses incurred by their job.
“These people work on short-term contracts often for modest pay minus benefits,” said Burke.
According to a Sun-Times editorial Friday, the typical Chicago Uber driver’s take-home pay is roughly $11.53 an hour — subtracting expenses from earnings.
The minimum wage in Chicago is $12.
Beale tells Sneed they will also review capping the number of ride-share drivers to address traffic congestion in the city in light of word Wednesday New York became the first major American city to halt new vehicle licenses for ride-hail services.
The move by New York was considered a significant setback to Uber in its largest U.S. market.
The New York City Council legislation passed overwhelmingly and caps the number of for-hire vehicles for a year while the city studies the booming industry.
The bills also allow New York to set a minimum pay rate for drivers.
“This whole ride-share industry has been a debacle from the very beginning,” said Beale.
“The fact they’ve been able to basically dominate the [cab] industry with their own rules and regulations initially was a nightmare. So many drivers are working below minimum wage.
“I’m glad we are finally getting some real reform on the ride-share industry; the traffic problems we have now are ridiculous,” he said.
“Traffic to O’Hare is ridiculous. Every other car to O’Hare has a share ride sticker in their windows. They are rearing up the city’s streets. It’s getting out of control.”
The aldermen also plan to conduct a series of hearings before the City Council to solicit the view of ride-share drivers on how to reform the industry.