Chicago: The only major U.S city to ban rideshare drivers over parking ticket fines

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot outlined her plan for Chicago's $838 million budget gap at the Harold Washington Library.

Chicago, IL – The City of Chicago is allegedly the only major U.S city that requires Uber and Lyft to suspend ride-share drivers for their unpaid debts. This city police have already suspended at least 15,500 and no other major U.S. city has a program like it.

Furthermore, studies show Chicago’s policy affected the black and low-income communities the hardest.

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Lyft allegedly warned the city about the negative impact of the policy on low-income communities. According to them, Chicago’s rideshare suspensions would keep those residents from being able to pay their debts.

However, there might be a good reason why the policy existed in the first place.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced last month that the city has an $838 million budget gap.

Upon deeper analysis, a Finance Department audit performed last December found more than 24,000 ride-share drivers owed the city a total of $19.4 million — mostly from unpaid parking tickets.

Furthermore, a spokeswoman for the Finance Department said drivers they check the drivers’ debt once a year. They also give 90 days to drivers to come into compliance after that initial check.

Of those 24,000 drivers, about a third came into compliance within 90 days. Hence, the city removed the other 15,500 in April.

Meanwhile, Lightfoot vowed to take initial steps to reform the city’s ticketing system.

“The city of Chicago was headed in the wrong direction by sending people into bankruptcy, taking their cars and preventing people from being able to work and contribute to the economy,” Mayor Lightfoot said in a speech last month.

The mayor hopes that some of her proposals will allow indebted drivers to reactivate their ride-share privileges.

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