Letters to the Editor

The independent economy in Illinois has always been beneficial to drivers, allowing us to create our own schedule and supplement our income on demand.

However, no one realized just how essential flex-economy workers would become during the pandemic.

Specifically, app-based drivers like myself have helped support many elderly and high-risk individuals with transportation.

As a Morgan Park resident, I have seen firsthand the transportation disparities that exist in Chicago, especially among South Side residents. The pandemic has only exacerbated these disparities, with many left unable to get to their essential jobs or to a doctor’s appointment.

I am concerned with talk of potentially new rules in Congress and Springfield that could limit my flexibility.

Worse, if new, stricter rules are put in place, independent workers like me will likely be out of a job in a time we most need it, and it will also prevent us from providing critical services to communities that lack equitable access to these services. This is not what independent workers want, and it’s not what Chicago communities need.

We hope our legislators will listen and understand that drivers want to remain independent contractors.

Independent workers are struggling like everyone else, and we deserve the right to earn an income on our terms.

Darren Heard