CHICAGO, Oct. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Teamsters Local 727 Secretary-Treasurer John Coli, Jr. today announced the union's support of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's plan to apply a new congestion tax to ride-hailing companies, including Uber and Lyft. According to a recent press release from the Mayor's Office, Mayor Lightfoot's plan seeks to reduce congestion and vehicle emissions in the city by imposing a premium on citywide single-passenger ride-hailing trips and single or shared trips that originate or stop in Chicago's downtown area.
"On the campaign trail, Mayor Lightfoot vowed to utilize methods of generating revenue that wouldn't place the burden on Chicago's working families. This plan represents a step in the right direction," said John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727.
According to research conducted by the city on ride-hailing trips in Chicago and released in a report titled "Transportation Network Providers and Congestion in the City of Chicago," most trips occurring in, traveling to, or returning from the city's downtown area are taken by individuals whose household income is above the median.
"Mayor Lightfoot's ride-hailing premium will hold affluent riders responsible for the congestion and pollution caused by their rides," said Coli. "Local 727 is proud to support the mayor's plan, a plan that moves our city in the right direction without squeezing working families."
As a representative of nearly 4,000 Teamster members employed in Chicago's parking industry, Coli has in recent years called upon the city to explore untapped alternative sources for revenue, such as improved enforcement of Chicago valet licensing regulations.
The City of Chicago currently employs only two inspectors to verify and enforce all Chicago valet licenses. For years, Local 727 has pressed the Chicago Mayor's Office to step-up its citywide valet license inspections, advocating for the inspections' dual-use as an enforcement mechanism and revenue stream.
"More stringent license enforcement would not only crackdown on illegitimate valet operators but would ensure that operators who disregard the law are held financially accountable for their actions," said Coli. "I urge Mayor Lightfoot to continue to pursue these new methods of generating revenue, to continue to have the back of Chicago's working families, and to continue to improve our city by upholding and enforcing Chicago's licensing regulations."
Mayor Lightfoot will appear before the City Council tomorrow, Wednesday, October 23, to deliver her complete 2020 city budget address. The City Council is currently scheduled to vote on the mayor's proposed 2020 budget ordinances, including the ride-hailing congestion tax, on November 26.
Teamsters Local 727 represents nearly 10,000 hardworking men and women throughout the Chicago area, including nearly 4,000 parking and valet industry professionals.
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