Trying time for taxis
Published Tuesday, December 20, 2011 5:37PM MST
Catching a cab can be a chore as there never seem to be enough taxis in the city especially during the holidays.
The City of Calgary is reviewing the taxi licensing system in an attempt to get more cabs on the roads before the new drunk driver law comes into effect.
The city capped the number of taxi licences 25 year ago when there were too many cabs on the streets.
At the time, the cap involved 1311 cabs and only 100 more cabs have been added since bringing the total to 1411.
The city's taxi commission has heard the complaints but says it can't just add more licences.
The commission says there are more than enough cabs during the day and the problem comes at night.
Many drivers don't want to work the night shift any more, thanks in part to several assaults in recent years.
The city has instructed the Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee to look at ways of getting more cabs on the road during those high-demand times.
Ward 13 Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart brought the issue to council and says solutions may include more cab licences, special event permits and night time only plates.
"This is really kind of a shot across the bow to the industry and the drivers to say listen, get your dispatch systems right, provide the service," said Colley-Urquhart.
The taxi industry is open to adding cabs, but only a hundred more.
"We feel that a hundred will get us ready for the new legislation and answer a lot of concerns of council," said Len Bellingham of the Calgary Livery Association.
The committee is expected to report back next April.
A local group has started a website that is devoted to taxi customers.
The Voters for Taxis website says they are giving a voice to the cab customer and offers visitors information about the industry and bylaw reviews.
For information on the Taxi Limousine Advisory Committee, visit the City of Calgary website.