Challenging Denver's Taxicab Monopoly - Latest Release

Double Victories for Institute for Justice Taxi Markets Opened in Denver, Cincinnati

PRESS RELEASE: January 26, 1995
CONTACT: John Kramer (703) 682-9320

[Economic Liberty]    


Washington, D.C. —The Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Justice today announced two victories for economic liberty, the right to earn an honest living free from excessive government regulation.

The first victory came in Denver with the end of the city's 50-year-old taxi monopoly that granted licenses to three companies and excluded all others. As a result of litigation filed by the Institute for Justice, Freedom Cabs was today granted 50 new cab permits for this year and 50 more for next year by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. Nearly 90 percent of cities with population of 50,000 or greater restrict entry into taxi markets.

"The founders of Freedom Cabs embody the courage it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in America today," said Chip Mellor, president of the Institute for Justice. "In the face of an overwhelming bureaucracy that was stacked against them and rich vested interests, they showed character, vision and an unfailing self-belief that someday their company, Freedom Cabs, would be a reality. Because of their hard work and fortitude, Freedom Cabs will for years be a shining example for all would-be entrepreneurs that good people can fight city hall and win."

The second victory came in Cincinnati where yesterday the city council removed its cap on the number of cabs it would allow in the city and said existing taxi companies couldn't block new entrants by stating the new companies would hurt their business. Based on their successful Denver campaign, Leroy Jones, a co-founder of Freedom Cabs and Institute for Justice President Chip Mellor testified before the Cincinnati city council at the invitation of Mayor Roxanne Qualls. Jones and Mellor urged the council to create inner-city job opportunities and improve taxi service by opening up the market to new entrepreneurs.

"Despite today's important victories, pointless government regulations still deny countless qualified individuals nationwide the right to earn a living in occupations ideally suited to entry-level entrepreneurs," Mellor said. "That's why the Institute for Justice will continue working with those outside the economic mainstream to open up taxi markets as well as other entry level occupations."

The Institute for Justice advances a rule of law under which individuals control their destinies as free and responsible members of society. Through strategic litigation, training, and outreach, the Institute secures greater protection for individual liberty, challenges the scope and ideology of the Regulatory Welfare State, and illustrates and extends the benefits of freedom to those whose full enjoyment of liberty is denied by government. The Institute was founded in September 1991 by Mellor and Clint Bolick.

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