Uber figured out a better way to do private car service by using your smartphone to call a car, calculate distance, and pay. Chicago's about to pass a law to say "Yeah, you can't do that here."

You can read more about it on Uber's Blog. If you're an Uber customer, or if you're interested in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in Chicago, you'll probably want to sign the petition, email the BACP email Commissioner Krimbel of the BACP and email Mayor Emanuel. And you'll want to hurry - the comment period for these proposed regulations ends today at 3pm.

Here's what I sent them:

I am troubled by the Measured Rates Provision (PPV Sec. 1.10) that would restrict Uber Black from operating in the Chicago market.

This provision is not written to benefit consumers, or the economy, but to protect the established limo driver industry. And yet, they may not see it, but Uber's innovation is beneficial for them too.

Uber has introduced private car service to tens of thousands of young consumers who previously considered it to be the proclivity of rich white bankers. Uber puts limo drivers to work and boosts demand for a dying industry.

Chicago is fighting to foster a community of innovation and entrepreneurship - to prove that we are just as good of a place to start a technology company as San Francisco, Boston, or New York. Uber is a prime example of the kind of company we are trying to attract - one using technology to disrupt an industry that has not innovated in decades.

This provision reinforces the stigma that Chicago's political system is more interested in protecting the status quo than fostering innovation, while at the same time, harming the industry it's trying to protect.

Uber's innovation is better for consumers, better for private car drivers, and better for a city struggling to attract startups. Don't let myopic protectionism hinder it.

Greg Baugues

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