Victory for free speech, Chicago passes ordinance allowing commercial advertising in rideshare vehicles



Kristen Williamson
(773) 809-4403

Bryant Greening

CHICAGO (Nov. 29, 2018) – The City of Chicago passed an amendment to allow commercial advertising in and on rideshare vehicles as part of its 2019 Revenue Ordinance. Previously, Chicago prohibited commercial advertising on or in rideshare vehicles, but allowed commercial advertising on taxis and personal vehicles. The Liberty Justice Center filed a federal lawsuit in February 2017, Vugo, Inc. v. City of Chicago, challenging the commercial ad ban on behalf of Vugo, Inc. and rideshare drivers as a violation of their free speech rights. The case was joined by Chicago-based law firm LegalRideshare, who intervened on behalf of rideshare driver Murray Meents.

The amendment allowing commercial advertising in and on rideshare vehicles is a victory for Vugo, Inc. and rideshare drivers across Chicago. The Liberty Justice Center and LegalRideshare filed this case because the city unfairly and unconstitutionally prohibited rideshare vehicles from having commercial advertisements in or on vehicles, when it allowed such advertising on taxicabs, and other commercial and non-commercial vehicles. The amendment eliminates the discriminatory treatment of rideshare drivers and reasonably accommodates commercial advertising in and on rideshare vehicles.

Jeffrey Schwab, senior attorney for the Liberty Justice Center said: “We are glad the City recognized that it needed to remove its unconstitutional ban on commercial advertising in rideshare vehicles. This is a victory for all rideshare drivers in Chicago and for free speech.”

Bryant Greening, attorney at Legal Rideshare, attorney for the plaintiff intervener, said: “Rideshare drivers are always looking for creative ways to supplement their income and improve their quality of life. Allowing advertisements on Uber and Lyft cars is one step towards strengthening the driver community.”

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