Coalition Urges D.C. Council to Reject Anti-Consumer Taxicab Medallion System

Washington, D.C, September 27, 2011 — D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh, Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Works, and Transportation, is holding a roundtable today at 10:30 a.m. on the D.C. Taxicab Commission. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and a coalition of seven other public policy think tanks and advocacy organizations urge Councilmember Cheh to reiterate her opposition to a proposed bill introduced earlier this year, the Professional Taxicab Standards and Medallion Establishment Act of 2011 (PDF).

In a coalition letter sent to members of the Council of the District of Columbia, the coalition explained how the bill threatens the livelihoods of owner-operators, the welfare of consumers and businesses, and the District’s reputation as a convenient and affordable tourist destination. If enacted, service delivery would be drastically reduced and costs would force many entrepreneurs out of the D.C. taxicab market.

“It is beyond the pale that some members of the Council wish to crush entrepreneurs, most of whom earn very modest livings, when they are supposedly focused on ‘creating jobs’ and expanding small business opportunities in Washington,” said Marc Scribner, land-use and transportation policy analyst at CEI, who helped organize the coalition. “This bill displays naked favoritism in the form of a subsidized loan program restricted to a politically connected constituency. It should disturb anyone in favor of free enterprise and open government.”

“Chairperson Cheh has displayed leadership on this issue in the past,” continued Scribner. “We hope she takes at least a moment during today’s roundtable to express her wholehearted opposition to this legislation, which would harm consumers, entrepreneurs, and the District’s reputation if enacted.”

>> Read the Coalition Letter Opposing the D.C. Taxicab Medallion Bill here.