Peter Casolino-New Haven Register
Richie Cassella, manager of driver services at Metro Taxi, fills one of the wheelchair accessible taxis at the natural gas filling stations at fleet headquarters in West Haven. (Peter Casolino-New Haven Register)

A coalition of 15 Connecticut cab and livery companies filed suit in federal court Wednesday to block ride sharing companies Uber and Lyft from doing business in the state.

The cab and livery companies, who are being represented by Hartford attorney Mary Alice Moore Leonhardt, filed a 42-page complaint in U.S. District Court that contends because Uber and Lyft are Internet-based, they are putting passenger safety at risk by skirting state and federal regulations that govern the industry. Uber and Lyft arrived in parts of Connecticut, including New Haven, in April.The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Thompson in Hartford, Leonhardt said.

“We wanted to get this before the court as soon as possible,” she said. “ It’s possible that other companies around the state may join the case at a later date.”

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