Today’s Headlines for Wednesday, September 6

  • New Affordable Housing Ordinance May Be Introduced in City Council Today (Curbed)
  • Northbrook Park President Questions Whether Velodrome Is a Good Use of the Space (Tribune)
  • Study: Ride-Sharing Is Increasing Congestion (Active Trans)
  • Farewell to the Randolph-Wabash CTA Station (Curbed)
  • Oak Parkers: Divvy Is the (W)Right (Heming)Way to Get Around Town Without a Car (Tribune)
  • Daley Plaza Public Space Will Now Be Available for Private Weddings & Other Events (DNA)
  • Tons of Events on the Lakefront Trail This Month (Active Trans)
  • Filmed by Bike Fest on 9/22 at Vittum Theater Is a Fundraiser for West Town Bikes

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  • Carter O’Brien

    This line from the Active Trans blog says it all:

    “Replicating this analysis in Chicago is difficult because ride-hailing
    companies aren’t required to make trip data publicly available.”

  • rohmen

    The Taxi medallion system had its downside, and not all of the regulations on the industry were well-reasoned and/or necessary, but the reasoning behind limiting Taxis to only a certain number, regulating the fair, etc. didn’t disappear simply because Gypsy cabs you can hail with your phone started showing up in the City.

    Purely anecdotal, but all you have to do is look at the number of airport rideshare stickers in the back window of vehicles to figure out that rideshare drivers are contributing heavily to the traffic on Chicago streets. Definitely time to make Uber and Lyft provide hard numbers regarding trips as part of obtaining a yearly business license to operate here. A City is entitled to know how the industry is impacting infrastructure if for no other reason than to properly plan traffic projects.

  • ohsweetnothing

    They do have to provide hard numbers to the City. They don’t have to provide the hard numbers to the public.

  • Jacob Wilson

    The last couple times I tried to visit Northerly Island it was closed off for some bourgie event or wedding. The most recent time I just hopped the barricades and I’ll have as much respect for the affluent who think they can buy Daley Plaza.

    Public space is public space. It’s NEVER for sale.

  • rohmen

    My understanding is that they have to provide hard numbers of drivers signed up to drive, but not of actual miles driven (at least not in Chicago, though they have to in NY and SF apparently). And to the extent you’re right that they do have to provide those numbers (i.e., miles driven), then it should be publicly accessible by simply doing a FOIA request with the City.

  • ohsweetnothing

    I think the rideshares would claim a trade secret FOIA exemption to any of their data being made public. At least, that was the argument they made repeatedly during the initial push for regulation and monitoring in Chicago. Dunno how successful it would be though.

  • rohmen

    I’m sure they’d argued it (I think they actually did in NY in response to requests to turn data over to the City in the first place), but there must already be some case law/precedent out there on the point, considering SF and NY either willingly (and assuredly over Uber objection) and/or by way of a FOIA request have already released that data.

    Also, I’m not a FOIA expert, but a simple calculation of miles driven wouldn’t seem to fall in the “trade secret” category, though again Uber has been just about as aggressive against any disclosure/regulation as can be imagined.