Taxicabs: 21st Century Technology with 19th Century Regulations

The transportation industry has seen a staggering amount of innovation in recent years, thanks to hard-working and thoughtful entrepreneurs. But regulators and cartels are pumping the brakes. Whether it’s banning tech-savvy ridesharing firms like UberLyft and Sidecar, or artificially constricting the supply of taxi permits so that independent drivers can’t possibly afford to own their own vehicles, special interests and their friends in city hall are working hard to shut out competition.

Government permission to own a cab costs $100,000 in Jersey City, $360,000 in Chicago, and in the Big Apple a recent auction netted more than $1 million for a taxi medallion! New Orleans requires would-be drivers to pay up to $67,000 for a certificate. Most of these costs are shouldered by those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder whose only chance to succeed is by passing the costs on to consumers like you.

In Tampa, limo and sedan drivers are forced to charge consumers $50 a ride, no matter how short the ride—even if drivers want to charge less. And up until recently in Nashville, limo and sedan drivers were forced to charge a minimum fare of $45.

These ballooning costs are the result of regulations that are, at best, left over from a bygone era of automobiles and, at worst, schemes to protect the profits of industry insiders while pretending to protect customers.
The Institute for Justice’s Transportation Initiative was created to help transportation providers and their customers enjoy the promises of economic liberty.

If you are facing burdensome transportation regulations in your city, email us at for help.

JOIN THE FIGHT!   Sign up for newsletters: