Nashville Drivers Stage Rolling Protest

J. Justin Wilson
J. Justin Wilson · July 18, 2011

Nashville, Tenn.—Today, Nashville’s transportation entrepreneurs will take to the streets to protest new Metro rules that require them to charge consumers nearly twice as much for exactly the same service. The drivers want the Metropolitan County Council to eliminate its new $45 minimum fare for limo and sedan service, along with a number of other unreasonable—and unconstitutional—restrictions on their businesses.

The drivers’ rolling protest will begin at 10:00 a.m. this morning at the Travel Centers of America (111 North 1st St., Nashville, TN 37213) and end on the south side of the Metro Nashville and Davidson County Courthouse. Drivers will attach American flags and banners to their limos and sedans encouraging everyone to “TELL NASHVILE: LET ME CHARGE YOU LESS.”


Transportation companies are now prohibited from leasing new vehicles; they are required to dispatch only from their places of business; they must wait a minimum of 15 minutes before they can pick up a customer; and, beginning in January 2012, companies will have to take all vehicles off the road if they are more than seven years old for a sedan or SUV or more than ten years old for a limousine. In addition, Nashville is forcing sedan and limo companies to raise their minimum fares to $45, putting them out of reach of most consumers.

“These new restrictions are destroying affordable car service in Nashville,” said Wesley Hottot, an attorney with the Institute for Justice. “Before the new rules, the average charge for limo and sedan service to the airport was just $25. Now, Nashville is requiring that it be $45 or more. That doesn’t help consumers and it’s not good for business.”

In April, the Institute for Justice teamed up with a group of independent limo and sedan drivers and filed a constitutional challenge to the new regulations in federal court.

Tomorrow, July 19, the County Council will consider eliminating a number of the new requirements.

“This ordinance was unconstitutional when it was passed last June, and now it’s up to the Metro Council to make things right by repealing the law,” said Hottot.