Life Stories

Data shows why rideshare drivers deactivated across city

Data pix.

CHICAGO — With more than 60,000 rideshare drivers on Chicago roads and counting, new data reveals just how safe it is for riders.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, WGN Investigates obtained numbers from the city’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Department on the list of deactivated drivers in the last four years.

In 2019, 472 drivers were deactivated from the rideshare companies, like Uber and Lyft, for a string of reasons.

161 drivers were taken off the road for allegations of sexual misconduct. That’s more than doubled from 2016.

The city complies the data and shares it with other rideshare companies in hopes of getting drivers off the roads. 36 drivers were pulled off the road for assault in 2019.

Allegations of drug use reportedly deactivated 54 drivers. There were also no suspensions after 16 arrests; including four criminal investigations and 56 accidents.

Additionally, 145 drivers were pulled of the roads for what the city calls “general public safety concerns.”

“The public has a right to know and secrecy doesn’t make anyone safer,” Uber said in its national safety report two weeks ago.

The company said 99.9% of rides occur without incident.

On Thursday, rideshare drivers and taxi drivers came together to urge the city to make reforms to raise driver income.

They gave Mayor Lightfoot around 11,000 postcards signed by drivers calling for reforms.

“Drivers who serve Chicago residents and visitors should be able to support our families,” the postcard reads in part. “Chicago must level the playing field by raising standards to create good jobs, enact fair rules and ensure safe rides.”

Drivers and their organizations supported Mayor Lightfoot’s efforts to reduce congestion that ride-hailing corporations opposed.