“Affordable car service” companies in Nashville will have to abide by a $45 minimum fare ordinance — and its enforcement — for the time being after a federal judge struck down an injunction request on Monday.
Metro Livery, which provides cut-rate sedan rides, asked U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp to halt the Metro Transportation Licensing Commission from enforcing the ordinance, claiming it unfairly limited its business.
Sharp ruled Monday that the process by which the ordinance was passed was legal and that “ ‘even foolish and misdirected provisions are generally valid’ under the rational basis standard of review.”
Sharp also mentions in his memorandum that lower fares would “undoubtedly” benefit Nashville citizens and tourists, but that it’s up to the Metro Council to make those determinations.
Metro Livery is currently challenging the $45 minimum fare ordinance in federal court, claiming it is unfair “economic protectionism” for cab companies. Attorney Wesley Hottot, who works for the Institute for Justice based out of Seattle, said Sharp's ruling was a “set-back, but only a preliminary set-back.”
“Judge Sharp emphasized that this is a preliminary ruling and indicated that if there were more evidence available to him that he might be willing to strike down the minimum fare,” Hottot said.
“This motion was an emergency motion ... as a result of that, we did not have all of the evidence Judge Sharp felt he needed to put a stop to this law while we continue toward trail,” Hottot added. “We expect that we will be able to put on that evidence at trial and ultimately win this case.”