Traditional taxicab drivers suing D.C.

WASHINGTON — Drivers of traditional taxicabs are suing the District, claiming services like Uber and Lyft have an unfair advantage in the city.

The class action lawsuit says a bill approved last year to regulate newer taxi services in D.C. created an “irrational, two-tired regulatory system that unconstitutionally harms the economic and property interests” of the plaintiffs and other taxi drivers like them.

It says traditional cabbies are heavily regulated and have to pay thousands of dollars to comply with those regulations, but smartphone app-based companies like Uber are allowed to offer the same services with fewer restrictions and costs.

When DC’s rules were first approved, Uber praised the city, calling it a trailblazer in the transportation industry.

The class action lawsuit was filed by six taxi drivers and a group they belong to —  the Washington D.C. Metro Area Taxi Operators Association.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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