Just About Anybody Can Become a Taxi Driver Now in Milwaukee


Would you really want to walk in this weather?
Credit: (vincent desjardins) / photo on flickr

Chalk up yet another win for those battlers for the right to engage in commerce, the Institute for Justice (IJ). Last year a Milwaukee County circuit judge ruled the city's cap on the number of taxicabs allowed in the city was unconstitutional. IJ represented several cab drivers fighting the law, which, according to IJ, drove the price of taxi permits from $85 to more than $150,000 on secondary markets (as in, taxi companies hoarding the permits to control the drivers).

Today Milwaukee has finally fully responded to the ruling. Previously, the city raised the cap by another 100 cabs. But today, the city's council voted unanimously to completely lift the cap on the number of taxis, allowing anybody who is able to comply with basic licensing, insurance, and safety requirements to drive a cab.

"It used to be that because of the government-imposed cap, a Milwaukee taxicab cost more than a house," IJ Attorney Anthony Sanders said in a press release. "Taxi entrepreneurs can now afford to keep their house and open a business, too."

IJ also notes that this change in taxi laws also gives Lyft and Uber (and other ride-sharing services) a path to operate legally within the city.

Read more about the case here.