Aerotropolis Milwaukee

Milwaukee Lifts Cap on Taxicabs

Aug 04, 2014

Ground transportation is a key component of any regional transportation system, and for years Milwaukee has lagged behind peer cities in providing this service.   Since the early 1990s, the City of Milwaukee has held a cap on the number of taxicab licenses that it issues, which has limited the number of cabs in Milwaukee to 1 for every 1,850 residents.  This cap resulted in drastically high prices for purchasing a license as a cab driver, which in turn hurt the quality and responsiveness of taxicab service.  In a region that relies on personal automobile use and the bus system to move people around, limiting the other available options that the private sector could provide was a senseless practice.

The good news is that the issue is finally being addressed.  This summer, the City of Milwaukee Common Council has voted to lift the cap on taxicab licenses as well as allowing for the services of ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft to enter the market.  The impact of these decisions will be a game changer for ground transportation as travelers’ options increase, the cost will go down and the level of service will go up.

Travelers coming to Milwaukee through General Mitchell International Airport or Amtrak will be coming from cities that already embrace these cabs and ridesharing, so providing these options will only enhance their experience in Milwaukee.  For those who are not used to taking a bus from the airport to their destination (MCTS provides the Green Line and #80 routes), there will be more familiar options at the terminal to make their visit more pleasant.  Milwaukee’s Common Council deserves praise for advancing this issue and addressing the antiquated licensing system.  Efforts like this will have a lasting positive effect on our region.