Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another reason I drive myself . . .

I don't use taxis often and thus feel no loyalty to any particular company. Simply, on the rare occasion that I do need to use the service I just want a speedy response time.

I think Councillor Clark aced the taxi debate with his comment "The cleanest and fairest way to do this is to open it up. It's about not getting involved in trying to protect a monopoly on what is a public space."

However, I disagree with the position that cab stands should be eliminated and the space converted into metered parking. In those busiest spots downtown should we encourage cabs to circle places like the plaza waiting for a fare to flag them down? And while loading passengers should cabs idle mid road and hold up traffic? Would passenger safety be a concern?

What about people coming in on the bus who need to get to their ultimate destination? Should they queue up and each call for service, or should cabs be waiting and available when the bus arrives? A couple of weeks ago I watched the cabs at the airport funnel through the cab lane and everyone of the more than a dozen taxis there picked up a fare. There seemed to be enough business for all.

Although the city collected revenue from the leased cab stands and that will be lost, it should be noted that they increased licence fees from $99.00 to $375.00 annually.

And the most notable comment on this debate goes to Neault with this statement: "We 'll let the public decide . . . We don't decide what's in the public's interest. If we get 10,000 calls, well then I guess we'll have to review it." 'Tis a sad but possibly true statement.


  1. If they are so concerned about losing the 18k in revenue from the stands why not just reduce their "let the city pay your downpayment program because you aren't responsible enough to save it yourself" program to 2.982 million?

    Glad to see that the stations are being opened up, nothing wrong with a little competition. I wish the rest of the province would embrace this philosophy.

    That being said, has anyone else noticed that Comfort Cabs may have the rudest drivers on the road? I usually try to avoid using them after frustratingly having been cut off by their drivers, seen their drivers pull illegal turns on the road and generally having no regard for other drivers in their pursuit of the next fare.

  2. For Clarke to indicate he didn't want to get into picking winners and losers in the monopoly game. What a bunch of bull. The City has limited the number of licenses available for years and now that our city is rapidly growing and there are huge profits to make they want to wash their hands of the issue.

    We made a reservation for a taxi back in December 3 days before and waited 25min. for someone to show up. This is not service. We ended up getting a family member to take us to our local.

    The only regulation we need in the taxi industry are standards on vehicle/license and Criminal record checks. As to who comes to my door to pick me up that I leave just as I do for the restaurants I visit... Good service gets repeat service.

    As with almost everything else with competition comes better service and reduced costs.

  3. What's up with councillor Hill Giving a plug in open council to Comfort Cabs by saying he only uses their cabs! I agree with the notion that Comfort Cabs seems to have the rudest drivers both in the cab and on the road.

  4. Wait a second. First they claim Taxi Service is part of public transit then the mayor starts questioning the validity of charging for public spaces. Could they just not provide one spot for each service and charge triple the money. Increase the take by 36,000. Sounds reasonable to me. If you want a taxi stand pay for it.

  5. Wouldn't it be interesting if the city would use also consider lost parking revenue as an additional cost for public transit?

  6. Which cab company has contracts with the school divisions? Have these cab drivers had police checks or drivers abstracts done? I find it a little scary to let my child go with a stranger who could be ?? Food for thought as hundreds of kids are transported by schools and social services? My 2 cents.


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