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Published on Apr 19, 2011
Until 2010, sedan and independent limo services were an affordable alternative to taxicabs. A trip to the airport only cost $25. But in June 2010, the Metropolitan County Council passed a series of anti-competitive regulations requested by the Tennessee Livery Association-a trade group formed by expensive limousine companies. These regulations force sedan and independent limo companies to increase their fares to $45 minimum.
The regulations also prohibit limo and sedan companies from using leased vehicles, require them to dispatch only from their place of business, require them to wait a minimum of 15 minutes before picking up a customer and forbid them from parking or waiting for customers at hotels or bars. And, 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.
These regulations have nothing to do with public safety. Nashville could have limited its requirements to those regulations that are designed to genuinely protect the public's health and safety, such as requiring insured and inspected vehicles, and driver background checks, but instead, Nashville is stooping to economic protectionism to put affordable car services out of business in favor of more expensive services that happen to have more political power. Many Nashville residents who regularly use limos and sedans will be forced to spend twice as much money for exactly the same service and hard-working sedan drivers will be driven out of business.
On April 20, 2011, the Institute for Justice teamed up with three Nashville entrepreneurs and filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee to vindicate the right of Nashville's limo and sedan operators to earn an honest living free from excessive government regulation.