City to begin accepting applications next week for new taxi permits

City of Milwaukee officials will hold a news conference Tuesday morning to kick off the opening of the new taxi cab permit application process.

In July the Common Council approved legislation that eliminated the city’s cap on taxi permits and created a new application process. The legislation was created to enable ride share services like Uber and Lyft to operate legally in the city.

“For the first time in decades, applicants for a public passenger vehicle permit to operate a taxi in Milwaukee will be able to apply without regard for a cap on the number of permits issued, and receive provisional permission to begin operating the day of their application,” Ald. Robert Bauman said. “(The new permit application process) creates a level playing field for all drivers while ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers.”

However, several taxi cab companies filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city this week in an attempt to block the new ordinance. The taxi cab companies are upset that the cap on taxi permits has been lifted and say the new ordinance creates a two-tiered regulatory system that hurts taxi permit holders.

Nevertheless, city officials are moving forward with plans to allow applicants to apply for taxi permits without any cap. Bauman said the first 10 applicants will receive a commemorative gift.

City officials are asking applicants to visit milwaukee.gov/license to prepare their application materials ahead of time.

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