Chicago taxis may seem annoying but studies of urban areas show that cabs reduce traffic congestion and allow some city dwellers the luxury of not owning an automobile.

In July of this year, the City of Chicago made several changes to the regulations and rules regarding taxis and drivers. These include restricting continuous hours driven to twelve and holding taxi cab companies responsible for a driver’s moving violations. The City also put incentives in place to persuade taxi companies and drivers to invest in ‘green’ cabs that run on natural gas as well as selling a percentage of medallions to wheel-chair accessible cabs.

Cab drivers also received some rewards with the City replacing the temporary fuel surcharge with a permanent $1 fee increase. Another change in the fee structure is that cabbies can now charge a $50 fee to riders who vomit in their cabs. Cab drivers are also watching a complaint filed in Illinois Northern District Court against Uber, a company that allows riders to request a ride and pay for it via a smart phone app. The suit, filed on behalf of a number of Chicago based cab and limo companies, accused Uber of violating state and local laws concerning fair practices, public safety, and consumer protection.