MILWAUKEE (CN) – Milwaukee may continue offering unlimited permits to Uber and Lyft while a battle over Internet ride-sharing services continues in court, a federal judge said Friday.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman denied taxi companies’ request for a preliminary injunction against a new city law that removes the cap on tax permits.
Joe SanFelipo Cabs et al. claimed that sections of the law “violate their 14th Amendment rights to substantive due process and equal protection,” Adelman wrote.
But Adelman found the cabbies’ case unlikely to succeed on its merits, and that the cabbies had not show that the ordinance was passed arbitrarily or irrationally.
Milwaukee gave several reasons for passing the law, including the desire to regulate network-based ride services, a high demand for taxi permits and a state court order to lift the cap, Adelman wrote.
“Any one of these reasons would likely provide a rational basis for removing the cap,” the order states. “Taken together, however, they offer a compelling justification for the city’s reworking of its taxicab regulations. Thus, plaintiffs are unlikely to be able to establish that the city’s removal of the cap was irrational.”
Though the new ordinance may cause “irreparable harm” to existing permit-holders, the order states, not enforcing it would cause harm to the city and the public.
In the case of a preliminary injunction, this potential harm outweighs the potential harm to the companies, Adelman found.
The parties are to hold a telephone status conference on Sept. 22.
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