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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:08 am 
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Nenshi: Hailing the benefits of a reformed taxi system

June 2, 2012

One of the most difficult issues any city faces is regulation of the taxi industry.

Evidence shows that pure deregulation of this industry rarely works in the developed world. In addition to making it difficult to protect the safety, cleanliness and effectiveness of the system, the economics of supply and demand can result in a system where it is difficult for drivers to earn any money, so they exit, resulting in fewer cabs than before.

But most cities also struggle with the nature of regulation. Whether cabs are restricted through knowledge tests, as in London, England, or through the number of plates, as in most North American cities — from New York to Calgary — cities are always trying to improve the system.

Calgary is no exception. While the taxi system is, for the most part, safe and reliable, there are many areas in which it is underperforming.

Many drivers are concerned about their safety and a system that sometimes seems tilted against them in favour of taxi brokers who run the dispatch companies.

Further, many taxi licences (or plates) are owned by people, including brokers, who never actually drive a cab, but sub-license to other drivers, who can then have the plate taken off their cab at any time for any reason. This happens despite the fact that these drivers have to purchase and outfit the vehicles themselves. No wonder many drivers are afraid to speak out.

Earlier this year, one broker even chose to voluntarily cease operations after allegations surfaced that it illegally sub-licensed its plates. Don’t feel too bad for the broker, though. Its shareholders will be transferring their more than 50 plates at a good price (estimated to exceed $100,000 per plate).

Passengers, for their part, are mainly concerned with the availability of service, particularly for those who need cabs late at night on the weekends and for people with disabilities (for whom taxis might be their only reliable form of transportation). Fixing the system, then, must help these two groups of passengers.

Isn’t it reasonable that Calgarians should have taxi service available when and where they want in our city?

When passengers complained they get busy signals when they call dispatchers, the brokers indicated that drivers refused to drive at peak periods. Drivers, for their part, claim that the brokers have simply not invested in their dispatch systems and don’t have enough people to answer the phones. Drivers tell stories of waiting an hour or more to be dispatched while passengers are desperately trying to get through.

City council had to fix this. And the solution begins with a whole new regulatory regime — one based on actual data.

Since cabs have GPS units and smart meters already, we are now requiring that all cabs in Calgary, starting next year, share this data. We will know how many cabs are on the road and accepting fares at any given time, and we’ll know where they are in the city. This will help city council make decisions about future allocations of taxi licences.

We are also requiring brokers to abide by benchmarks based on industry standards that have been common in call centres for many years, but have never been adopted here.

Finally, we are releasing the first new taxi licences in many years, but these are different than in the past. The person to whom the licence is issued must personally drive the vehicle at least a specified number of hours per year. The cab must be on the road (whether driven by the owner or another qualified driver) during peak periods late at night on the weekend. The vehicle must be wheelchair accessible. And the licences are non-transferable, so they can’t be transferred for hundreds of thousands of dollars the way current plates can.

This is not the same as the system now. These new drivers will operate under different rules than existing drivers. But the new rules still allow for both drivers and brokers to make an honest living, and I anticipate huge demand for the lottery to allocate these new licences.

It’s reasonable for Calgarians to expect a high quality and reliable taxi service as a transportation option in Calgary.

By moving to a new system of regulation, one based on good data rather than anecdotes and empty promises, we can and will make the system work better.

Naheed Nenshi is mayor of Calgary. His column appears monthly.

Source; http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/op ... story.html

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:18 pm 
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Brummie Cabbie wrote:
In addition to making it difficult to protect the safety, cleanliness and effectiveness of the system, the economics of supply and demand can result in a system where it is difficult for drivers to earn any money, so they exit, resulting in fewer cabs than before.


Might as well stop reading there ](*,)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:40 pm 
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Dusty Bin wrote:
Brummie Cabbie wrote:
In addition to making it difficult to protect the safety, cleanliness and effectiveness of the system, the economics of supply and demand can result in a system where it is difficult for drivers to earn any money, so they exit, resulting in fewer cabs than before.

Might as well stop reading there ](*,)

I know where you're coming from, but what I don't know is where you are licensed.

But I'll guess that your LA has some quite tough testing procedures for vehicles and driver entry.

So you're probably OK Jack, for the moment anyway, unless the LC's ideas change things asre about face in your manor in a couple of years.

Then you might, just might be in the same crap that many LAs are in with p1$$ poor standards on vehicles and drivers and anyone can drive a shed with a camel driving licence.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:34 pm 
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Brummers demonstrating good sense of humour wrote:
But I'll guess that your LA has some quite tough testing procedures for vehicles and driver entry.


Image

Quote:
So you're probably OK Jack, for the moment anyway, unless the LC's ideas change things asre about face in your manor in a couple of years.


There's few PHVs, so that wouldn't make much difference, and taxi vehicle and driver standards are pretty low, so you're perception is misconceived - no one really wants a PHV anyway :roll:

Quote:
Then you might, just might be in the same crap that many LAs are in with p1$$ poor standards on vehicles and drivers and anyone can drive a shed with a camel driving licence.


Yes, that sounds about right, how did you know? :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:39 pm 
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Quote:
When passengers complained they get busy signals when they call dispatchers, the brokers indicated that drivers refused to drive at peak periods. Drivers, for their part, claim that the brokers have simply not invested in their dispatch systems and don’t have enough people to answer the phones. Drivers tell stories of waiting an hour or more to be dispatched while passengers are desperately trying to get through.


Sounds familiar

Quote:
Since cabs have GPS units and smart meters already, we are now requiring that all cabs in Calgary, starting next year, share this data. We will know how many cabs are on the road and accepting fares at any given time, and we’ll know where they are in the city. This will help city council make decisions about future allocations of taxi licences.


Couldn't see drivers liking that here, they all seem to think they have something to hide

Quote:
I anticipate huge demand for the lottery to allocate these new licences.


Why a lottery, why not use driver standards on a first come first served basis

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:22 pm 
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toots wrote:
Why a lottery, why not use driver standards on a first come first served basis

If was a racist, and I am not, I would say it is way to keep Muslims out - they can't enter a lottery.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:37 pm 
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Chris the Fish wrote:
toots wrote:
Why a lottery, why not use driver standards on a first come first served basis

If was a racist, and I am not, I would say it is way to keep Muslims out - they can't enter a lottery.


It hasn't stopped them here they just called it something else

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:38 am 
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Dusty Bin wrote:
There's few PHVs, so that wouldn't make much difference, and taxi vehicle and driver standards are pretty low, so you're perception is misconceived - no one really wants a PHV anyway

It's actually the reverse here.

There are many PHV drivers in Brum that would not transfer to a HC if the new legislation came up with a one-tier taxi system as they are sh*t scared of picking up off the streets and prefer the 'safety' of pre-booked work.

Which leads me to believe that you must be licensed in a quiet back-water town and hence the closeted views.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:01 pm 
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Brummie Cabbie wrote:
It's actually the reverse here.

There are many PHV drivers in Brum that would not transfer to a HC if the new legislation came up with a one-tier taxi system as they are sh*t scared of picking up off the streets and prefer the 'safety' of pre-booked work.


Well I find that hard to credit, so how much do you mean by 'many'?

And what's to stop them keeping with the safety of pre-booked work under a one-tier system - are you sure they understand exactly what it entails?

Indeed, perhaps it's the WAV requirement that's the impediment rather than one-tier per se. Didn't Brum only allow brand new Mandatory Order taxis at one point, ie effectivley a £30k TX.

Also, since you seem to claim sometimes that every other PH driver in Birmingham is illegally plying for hire then that seems to contradict your point slightly. [-(

Indeed, I find it hard to credit that any current PH driver would pass a queue on a rank without stopping, assuming they could do so legally. :wink:

Quote:
Which leads me to believe that you must be licensed in a quiet back-water town and hence the closeted views


You seem to have spent a lot of the last few days repeating what I've said on here umpteen times before but portraying it as something new :lol:

Yes, "quiet-back water town", but no closeted views [-X


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:03 pm 
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Dusty Bin wrote:
Indeed, I find it hard to credit that any current PH driver would pass a queue on a rank without stopping, assuming they could do so legally.


The f'in taxis here pass queues on the rank ffs if they don't like the look of them :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Theres very rarely queues on ranks anymore,you really do have rose tinted glasses dusty.Why so secretive over" the backwater"place you work ?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:22 pm 
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Dusty Bin wrote:
Well I find that hard to credit, so how much do you mean by 'many'?

Of course you do.

If it ain't done your way, then it don't count.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:25 pm 
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toots wrote:
Dusty Bin wrote:
Indeed, I find it hard to credit that any current PH driver would pass a queue on a rank without stopping, assuming they could do so legally.

The f'in taxis here pass queues on the rank ffs if they don't like the look of them :lol:

No clue Dusty!!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:31 am 
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blackpool wrote:
Theres very rarely queues on ranks anymore,you really do have rose tinted glasses dusty.Why so secretive over" the backwater"place you work ?


I'm gonna have my 2nd wild stab in the dark and say it's north of the border, not that matters any and I'm not sure why people are so bothered tbh :?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:56 am 
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Brummie Cabbie wrote:
Dusty Bin wrote:
Well I find that hard to credit, so how much do you mean by 'many'?

Of course you do.

If it ain't done your way, then it don't count.


Yes, I'm the only person on here that has an opinion. :roll:

Actually, correct that, I'm the only person on here who's not allowed to have an opinion. :lol:

But getting back to the original point, I assume all this evasion means you don't know? :badgrin:


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