Faced with a judge’s order to explain why taxis should be treated differently than Uber and Lyft and what changes it will make to taxi regulations, the city of Boston said it does not plan to make any changes because the new state law prevents cities from regulating ride-for-hire apps.
“Defendants respectfully request that the Court refrain from entering a preliminary injunction ordering Defendants to apply Rule 403 to TNCs because municipal regulation of TNCs would conflict with state law,” the city said in its formal filing in U.S. District Court yesterday.
The suit was filed by the Boston Taxi Owners Association, which has filed a similar suit against the state, claiming the new state law violates the Constitution by treating taxis and ride-for-hire apps differently.
The state law signed by Gov. Charlie Baker this summer explicitly prevents cities and towns from adding their own regulations and requirements to services such as Uber and Lyft, except in the case of traffic and traffic flow.
Earlier this year, Boston changed its taxi regulations to allow the purchase of used cars and removed a requirement to join a radio dispatch association for small taxi owners, changes intended to ease the burden on cabbies.
Jordan Graham for Boston Herald