Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to again address a proposal to restrict the operation of taxicabs from neighboring communities in Evanston.

Cabbies licensed in Evanston have objected to the competition from out-of-town cabs, but representatives of the outside companies say Evanston residents should be free to call any company they want to arrange a ride by phone.

The debate became confused at a council meeting two weeks ago when the draft of the ordinance in the council packet reflected compromise language that had been developed in discussions with industry representatives that hadn’t been part of the version of the ordinance previously approved by a council committee.

For tonight, the version up for debate has reverted to the committee-approved language — which would bar out-of-town cabs from accepting any passenger in Evanston — regardless of whether it was from a pre-arranged call or by picking the passenger up at a cab stand.

Discussion at the council session two weeks ago suggested that language may not have sufficient support to win approval — and that a compromise that would allow pre-arranged pickups by out-of-town cabs may be more likely to win approval.

Both versions of the ordinance would increase the fine for drivers caught violating the city ordinance from the current range of $25 to $500 to a minimum fine of $750.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Is 303 considered out-of-town

    Is 303 considered out-of-town now? I don’t know where Purple
    Cab came from but I wouldn’t take Norshore on a bet.  

    1. Evanston-licensed cab companies

      The city’s website says companies licensed in Evanston are Northshore Cab, 303 Taxi, American Cab, Best Taxi and Better Cab. But that listing is out of date, because Purple Cab now also is licensed.

      Part of the issue involves companies, like American, that have some cabs licensed here but others that are not, and whether their cabs licensed in other towns should be able to respond to phone requests for service here.

      There are roughly 140 licensed taxicabs in the city. Drivers say they don’t have enough business to stay busy or make a decent living. Some customers say that at times there aren’t enough cabs to meet the demand.

      — Bill

  2. Barriers to Competition are Unconstitutional

    If everyone who had trouble in business could prevent outsiders from offering a better service, we’d have dumpy restaurants, lousy cabs and ugly stores.

    I hope the City Council realizes that there have been several Supreme Court cases that addressed this issue. This is supposed to be the land of opportunity, not the miasma of monopolists.

    Joy Schwabach

    Member of the Evanston Taxicab Advisory Board 

  3. Please allow competion

    Doesn’t the city have anything better to do than to stifle competion?  Is this the same city council that just allowed truck catering to compete with Evanston restaurants? 


    The ordinance is almost impossible to enforce.  This is really pathetic.

  4. More competition not less

    More cab competition not less.

    North Shore is terrifying to say the least.

    I have never been in worse maintained vehicles.

    Maybe more choices would improve the general quality of the cabs in this city.


    very respectfully

    Manon Kavesky 

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