City lifts taxi cab cap; regulates Uber & Lyft

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by Matt Doyle

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Common Council unanimously voted to eliminate the city's cap on the number of taxis that are allowed to operate in Milwaukee. The ordinance passed by the city also increases regulation on taxi alternatives like Uber and Lyft.

Taxi cab companies are not happy about the change because it basically breaks up a monopoly.  They will likely file a lawsuit to try and challenge the ruling. 

The Common Council patted itself on the back somewhat for what they called open discussion over the past several months.  The ordinance puts UBER, Lyft, and taxi drivers under the same regulations. 

An UBER representative said the regulations make Milwaukee the most expensive city to operate. He said he hopes to work with the city going forward.
 
"It limits the potential growth of ride-sharing in the city," UBER Milwaukee General Manager Nick Anderson said.  "Other municipalities in the Midwest such as Minneapolis, Detroit, Chicago they've really looked at regulations that look at the innovative structure and nature of what ride-sharing is."
 
UBER says it'll cost more than $350 per driver to start ride-sharing.

Lyft released a statement to CBS 58 after the meeting: "Milwaukee residents have made it clear they want more transportation options and we'd like to thank Alderman Hamilton and the greater Council for their desire to preserve ride-sharing in the city. However, today's action doesn't improve on safety programs already in place. Instead, it introduces additional regulatory burdens that will make it more difficult for everyday Milwaukeeans to access the safe rides and economic opportunity that peer-to-peer transportation  provides. We urge the City Council to continue the discussion surrounding the benefits of ridesharing and look forward to working with them to find a solution that puts the people of Milwaukee first."

The mayor still has to sign the ordinance to make it official.

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