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Taxi firms ask mayor for help, but may have to call on state

Cab companies that want the city to treat the taxi industry and new ride-hailing services the same took their case directly to Mayor Byron W. Brown on Tuesday — but may have to go even higher.

License fees, background checks and set rates put cab companies at an unfair disadvantage, they say, because ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are not bound by those same regulations.

Cab industry representatives called Tuesday's session "a good first meeting," but said many of the changes they want have to come from the state.

"His hands are tied," Bill Yuhnke, owner of Liberty Yellow Cab Company, said of Brown. "He's trying to abide by state regulations."

Brown declined to comment.

Cab companies petitioned the Common Council last month to change some city rules.

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