In Chicago, discussion is currently underway to provide limousine chauffeurs with their own truck stop-style staging area - complete with showers, car wash and maintenance facilities.
Instead of requiring taxicabs and limousines to be grouped together, the city would give a private contractor the right to build a $6 million complex, with space for 400 limousines, on city-owned land north of the existing staging area.
At the present time, the 428,000-square-foot lot is used by an O'Hare contractor to stage construction equipment. Instead, it would house a two-story structure filled with amenities, such as showers, lockers and concessions for limousine drivers, along with a car wash, fueling and maintenance facilities for the vehicles.
"People get a limousine for different reasons than a taxicab," said Tom O'Donnell, Assistant Aviation Commissioner. "The idea is to keep the two forms of ground transportation separated. You expect a limousine to be clean. It's got to look like a limousine. The chauffeur is going to be neatly dressed - they want to be presentable for the public."
Mayor Daley introduced the lease at the October October 3 City Council meeting. It would allow partners Tom Roth, James Gallo and Matt Baines the right to build the facility at their expense. In exchange, Chicago taxpayers would get a $1 million-a-year cut of concession revenues and inherit the improvements at the end of the lease.