New Year's Eve reopens Calgary's cab license debate
Published Monday, December 31, 2012 4:26PM MST
Last Updated Monday, December 31, 2012 6:43PM MST
New Year’s Eve is the busiest taxi night of the year in Calgary.
There will be a huge demand for Calgary’s 1,400 cabs and many potential taxi passengers say the thought of hailing or calling a cab in Calgary does not put them in a party mood.
To address the city's cab shortage, the city added 55 accessible cab licenses with the rule that they had to agree to work Friday and Saturday late nights.
The new cabs have been on the road since October and the city believes the current number of taxis in the city is sufficient to meet the needs of the population.
The Calgary Cab Drivers’ Association disagrees with the city’s stance. It believes city council has been influenced by the powerful taxi brokers who own the majority of the taxi licenses.
“Only in Calgary,” says Rajiv Kapil, the president of the Calgary Cab Drivers’ Association. “The brokers are dominating the workers and they do not pay the drivers what they deserve.”
Jonathan Denis, the Minister of Justice, says he’s disappointed with Calgary’s approach to the cab situation. Denis believes the city should be attempting to put more cabs on the street in an effort to combat impaired driving and create more jobs.
“There have been calls in the taxi industry for upwards of 300 new licenses,” says Denis. “Whether or not that is enough, I don't know. What I do know is the city should look at what some other cities have done and establish a fixed ratio. If the city increases by a certain number of people each year, there going to add a certain number of taxi licenses.”
For New Year’s Eve revelers, a new app has been created to help you find a cab at the end of your evening. FastCab puts passengers in direct contact with drivers in the area.
Another option for partygoers is Calgary Transit. The service will not be charging fares on New Year’s Eve starting at 6:00 p.m.