New York and Chicago officials are looking to introduce new ride-sharing apps in their cities that could replace services like Uber and Lyft.
The proposed app in Chicago would let people use their smartphones to hail taxis from any operator in the city, and the one in New York would let people "e-hail" any of the city's 20,000 cabs, according to The New York Times. The bill in New York has yet to receive votes from regulators.
The move in Chicago is the latest made for the Taxi Driver Fairness Reforms package, which is designed to update regulations for taxi cab lease rates and violations like traffic tickets. The package is being backed by a taxi union and members of City Council.
"These reforms represent what is necessary to further modernize this growing industry," Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
The New York app, called the Universal E-Hail app, was proposed by councilman Ben Kallos and would be created by the Taxi & Limousine Commission if it receives approval, CNN Money reported.
"City taxis need an app of their own to compete, and New Yorkers need to be able to get a cab in the rain without having to worry about surge pricing," Kallos said. "I want to live in a city where I can e-hail a yellow or green cab and get where I need to be in a New York minute."
The idea of new ride-hailing apps in the two cities comes at a time when Uber and Lyft face problems overseas and at home. Uber is currently banned in Spain and China, and it was recently sued by authorities in Portland, Oregon that demanded for the company to comply with local laws. Both Uber and Lyft were sued by California for allegedly misleading people about its background checks for its drivers.
Despite these issues, as well as strong opposition from taxi and limousine unions that believe the companies should obey local rules, Uber and Lyft still remain popular by helping people to avoid shouting and waving for taxis while also providing a way for them to use their smartphones to get rides, The New York Times reported.
Uber has so far managed to raise close to $2.7 billion in venture capital, while Lyft has raised over $300 million.