Drivers Lose Taxi Stop Battle Against Tallinn
The Taxi Drivers Union lost the two-year legal dispute with the City of Tallinn as the Supreme Court refused to hear a case in which the unions seeked cancellation of the new provision of taxi services.
On March 16, 2009 a letter of protest was filed by 475 taxi drivers, 17 taxi companies and two non-profit organizations against Tallinn's plan to rent out public space to one taxi company for parking.
Both the individual drivers and the companies found that the city's practice of renting taxi stands, which can be regarded as public transport infrastructure, to one company violates the principles of free enterprise and equal treatment guaranteed by the Constitution.
As the Supreme Court did not hear the case, the ruling in favor of the city made by the first and second instance courts remained in force.
The courts found that renting out parking spaces for taxis did not violate free competition and rights of the consumers, because customers are free to choose which taxi service provider's services they want to use.
On March 11, the Supreme Court refrained from comments to ERR News regarding how exactly customers' right to choose would be upheld in practice when the company renting the stands only allows parking of their own vehicles.