Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are seen as threats to the profits of traditional taxi companies; which have worked out cozy licensing and bribery arrangements with municipal governments (like NYC, DC, and Chicago) to protect their turf against competition. In Chicago, Big Taxi may be resorting to extraordinary measures to protect their monopoly.
A trade newspaper for the city’s taxi industry has threatened to out five aldermen who it claims are “secretly gay,” unless the City Council bans ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, and SideCar.
In an editorial in The Chicago Dispatcher, publisher George Lutfallah said the trade publication “has learned that five of the city’s 50 aldermen are closeted homosexuals. In the next issue of this newspaper, set to be published early next month, we will disclose their names unless our demands are met.”
It’s also possible that the article the blog is referring to, or parts of it, are intended as satire. Some of their demands are on the order of “we demand that the letter ‘m’ be eliminated from the alphabet.” But the hostility toward competition from ridesharing is very real.