The legal fight over a Metro-imposed minimum $45 fare for non-taxi sedan rides is likely to go to trial following U.S. District Court Judge Kevin Sharp’s decision to deny a Metro motion for summary judgment.
In the U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee, Metro argued the mandated minimum fare would help differentiate black sedans and other for-hire cars from taxi cabs so that customers would have a clearer idea of what they were buying.
But Metro Livery, who sued Metro over the ordinance, claims the Metro Transportation Licensing Commission was looking to protect the business interests of high-end limo companies.
Sharp refused to strike down the ordinance  by denying an injunction request from Metro Livery earlier in the year.
Sharp hasn’t, however, completely sided with Metro. He denied Metro’s motion for summary judgment last week.
In earlier court filings, Sharp remarked that the MTLC’s verbatim use of legislation drafted by the Tennessee Livery Association, a limo company, was “a bit fishy.” In his most recent memorandum, Sharp wrote that new evidence suggests that TLA and Gaylord proposed the ordinance changes, which “only adds to the level of pungency.”
Ultimately though, “It will be for the jury to decide whether the enactment of the ordinance passes the ‘smell test,’ ” Sharp wrote.
A jury trial is set for Jan. 22.