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Emanuel wants to raise fees on horse-drawn carriages

Clout Street

Conveying tourists downtown by horse will get a little more expensive for carriage operators under a plan put forward by Mayor Rahm Emanuel today that also would change the rules dictating the temperatures at which the horses can work.

The fee for a driver to get a license to operate a familiar traffic-clogging horse-drawn carriage would be $25 annually under the mayor's plan, rather than a one-time fee. And instead of charging a carriage owner $10 to replace a damaged plate or decal that each carriage is required to display, the city would charge $50 for a replacement plate and $25 for a replacement decal.

Currently, horses are required to pack it in for the day when the temperature hits 90 degrees or falls to 15 degrees or below at O'Hare airport, or the wind-chill factor is zero degrees or less at O'Hare. Emanuel wants to change the location of the temperature gauge to Northerly Island, closer to the downtown shopping areas where most of the carriages pick up rides.

The mayor's plan must go to a City Council committee for consideration.

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