Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The rogues of industry

I am not sure why the cab companies are so opposed to a regulatory board (SP July 27/10.) Nor do I understand why the report recommends adding two more staff to City Hall on this issue. Existing staff already deal with the concerns on taxi services and rather than reporting to council the same staff would then report to the proposed board. Once the regulations are in place the board would then be responsible for monitoring the activity of the industry and enforcing the regulations. Break the regs, lose your ticket. This simple theory keeps everyone in line.

What the report recommends is what we would expect cab companies are already doing, or should be doing. The idea that a commission would ensure that cabs are regularly inspected for safety is a no brainer. Given the incidents of injury to drivers by unsavory users, the cameras seem like a good idea. Testing new drivers for language competency and knowledge of Saskatoon's street network appears to be a common sense recommendation. The city already controls the issuance of licenses and fares. And no one company should be allowed a monopoly anywhere. I'm not sure why a dress code or the age of a cab kept in good condition comes into play. And I take it for granted that gypsy cabs would be a no-no.

The position of the cab owners leave me smiling and thinking that the wide open wild west is still vibrant. Or maybe this is all to encourage transit's 'take a bus' program.

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