Chicago Ridesharing

Illinois Transportation Trade Association v. City of Chicago

Anyone who has stood in the rain trying to hail a cab understands why competition is important in the transportation market. In many American cities, outdated regulations serve to keep the number of taxis on the streets artificially low, resulting in long waits, poor service, and, in many neighborhoods, a complete inability to call or hail a cab.

Working with technology companies like Sidecar, Lyft, and uberX, a new class of small-business owners has been working to solve these problems. Armed with little more than a smartphone and their car, a small group of entrepreneurs are driving innovation in an industry that’s been dominated by entrenched business and a regulatory framework originally drafted in the early 20th century.

In Chicago, though, taxicab corporations see these new drivers as a threat to their bottom line, and they’ve taken to court to demand that federal judges freeze Chicago’s taxi regulations in amber in order to provide permanent economic protection for taxicab owners’ preferred business model.

But ridesharing drivers are fighting back and intervening in the lawsuit to fight for economic liberty and the basic principle that entrenched businesses have no legal right to economic protectionism. Three rideshare drivers have partnered with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to intervene in the taxi cartel’s unconstitutional lawsuit against the city of Chicago.


Essential Background


Backgrounder on this case

Client Video: none available

Launch Release: Ridesharing Drivers Fight Back; Join Lawsuit to Challenge Chicago’s Cab Cartels (March 25, 2014)

Client Photos

Latest Release: Statement: Gov. Quinn Bravely Vetoes Anti-ridesharing Bill, Stands Up for Tech Innovation (August 25, 2014)

Press Conference (March 25, 2014)



Legal Briefs and Decisions

Memorandum in Support of Motion to Intervene (March 25, 2014) 
Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss (March 25, 2014) 

Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit:


March 25, 2014

Court Filed:

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


none available

Current Court:

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


Awaiting ruling on City’s Motion to Dismiss

Next key date:

To be determined

Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

Release: Survey: 62 Percent of Illinoisans Oppose Arbitrary Restrictions on Ridesharing Drivers (April 29, 2014)

none available 


Op-eds, News Articles and Links


Opinion: Combat the taxi cartel USA Today (March 27, 2014)

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