Will Chicago Limousine And Taxis Survive This Time?
Chicago Limousine and taxis services are quietly suffering the COVID19 pandemic. The Coronavirus shook the world. That's a fact. Some of the oldest transportation industries are hit really hard due to the travel bans and restrictions. Taxis and chauffeur services in Chicago lost 90%-95% of their business but all eyes are at a different direction. That of the gig economy.
All over the news, everyone is talking about UBER and Lyft. Reporters write about the two giants every single day while leaving the heavily regulated taxis and limos lick their own wounds. Last two are left behind, deadly wounded in the front line. Many limousine and taxi service companies will be gone soon. A few might make it through. But no one cares since they are not hot on the stock market and did not borrow billions to operate. Just the small guy loses if a taxi or a limo is out of business. And that's not what the new America cares about.
Chicago is a big metropolitan city and it's O'hare airport is, sorry was, the 6th busiest airport in the world. Whoever has traveled through O'hare international airport has seen the miles long taxis lines or has waited 20 minutes for their limo to arrive. No one can ever forget the yelling traffic controllers to move your car and circle around the terminals. Or the chaos inside the terminals with thousands of people flying in and out.
Those were good times for taxis and limousines in Chicago. Even at the rise of UBER and Lyft, when they were left to operate illegally in Chicago for a couple of years, cabs and limos still made it through. Some years later, when unethical decision by mayors, governors and aldermen let Rideshare pick up from the airports, still could not bring limos and taxis down. Cabs and limousines persisted and resisted the genocide against them. They became like cockroaches. Chicago limousines and taxis learnt to survive.
Well today, mid August 2020, things are different. Sixth month into the pandemic, even if travel has started to open, people are staying away from flying. O'hare terminals are empty. You cannot get a taxi at O'hare now. Limo staging area is almost empty as well. Traffic controllers are quiet. Business is still down and no one knows when, or if at all, will start picking up.
In addition to that health disaster, a new wave of discrimination and genocide is launched against limos and taxis in Chicago. The City of Chicago still does not ease the regulations on the taxis and limos. On top of that, regardless of the fact that there is no business at all, the commercial insurance companies in Chicago raised the rates with $1200 this year. It looks like everyone is trying to squeeze the last penny out of the cab drivers and chauffeurs. And that penny was not earned. It was either saved, or worse-it was borrowed through the SBA loans which many will not be able to repay.
This time Taxis and limos are under crossfire. It's looks like a deadly ambush. Ambushed by your own government which is too busy dealing with the "technology companies" which actually perform the same service as limos and taxis. Will Chicago limousines and taxis make it this time? Some will, others not. But things will never be the same after.
There is still a bit hope. Looks like there are a few honest and not corrupt judges and state attorneys in California who want to classify UBER and Lyft drivers as employees. That might help limousine services and taxis recover faster. However, let's wait for the outcome of this decision. History shows that billionaire dollar companies tend to change people's mind or reshape laws at the last moment.
Till then, let's hope that Chicago limos and taxis will make it through and justice will be finally served.