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  #4961  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 3:22 AM
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Originally Posted by fusili View Post
How about more cabs?
Best thing would be to deregulate, but putting that aside, Nenshi's additional licenses aren't a bad idea at all. Basically the new cars will have to serve weekend nights, and are precluded from pickups at the airport (I guess the owners could join whoever has the contract if they take independents).
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  #4962  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 2:32 PM
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Originally Posted by MalcolmTucker View Post
Best thing would be to deregulate, but putting that aside, Nenshi's additional licenses aren't a bad idea at all. Basically the new cars will have to serve weekend nights, and are precluded from pickups at the airport (I guess the owners could join whoever has the contract if they take independents).
One of the things I disagree with Nenshi on, and perhaps most people as well, is that taxis should be completely deregulated, and other than passing a driving test, and a regular safety inspection, there should be no restriction on that service.
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  #4963  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 2:56 PM
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Originally Posted by frinkprof View Post
What I think you'd see a lot of is people parking at the station, taking the train to the bar, taking the train back to the station and then driving the rest of the way home drunk where they are less likely to get stopped by the police.
sounds like a great opportunity for cabs to congregate around the stations to provide the 'rest of the way' type service. short, fast trips that might tip well because they didn't have to wait for a cab.
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  #4964  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 4:04 PM
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Originally Posted by fusili View Post
One of the things I disagree with Nenshi on, and perhaps most people as well, is that taxis should be completely deregulated, and other than passing a driving test, and a regular safety inspection, there should be no restriction on that service.
I'm with you on this one, I think the market would determine how many cabs exist and when they are on the road, baring that I think what Nenshi is doing is the next best thing, if a driver doesn't want to work nights they shouldn't take the license.
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  #4965  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 4:07 PM
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Originally Posted by floobie View Post
Twitter saw fit to show me this this morning:

Nenshi: Hailing the benefits of a reformed taxi system
Saturday, June 2, 2012
By Naheed Nenshi

The rest here: http://www.calgaryherald.com/mobile/...tml?id=6717695
I commend the city's action on this, but Mayor Nenshi's a smart guy, surely he must know that this is a half assed solution that will do nothing to solve the problems in Calgary's taxi market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by da mayor
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.
False, 10 minutes of research yields plenty of examples where deregulation has improved the number of cabs, the level of service, and market innovation. New Zealand has enjoyed fantastic results from deregulation, along with Singapore, Japan, and Ireland. All developed nations. Perhaps Nenshi is simply looking at the U.S., where deregulation has failed because it did not go far enough. Most American cities maintained regulations that favored existing cab companies and others continued to regulate fares while eliminating the cap on licenses. This cannot be considered true deregulation.

With regards to safety and cleanliness issues, these can be mitigated by a far simpler licensing system that ensures cars are in working order and drivers are competent. As for his point about drivers exiting the market due to lower earnings, I don't buy it. Drivers who own their own medallion right now earn a very comfortable living (my friends dad was a cab driver/owner and he was able to provide an upper middle class lifestyle for his family).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nenshi
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.
I tried to get a cab in the suburbs last Saturday night. After waiting on a busy signal for half an hour I finally got through and requested a taxi. I did this twice - neither cab showed up, and I spent the night on a (fcking uncomfortable) 4 foot long couch. So why don't the taxi companies hire more people to work in their call centers (it's obviously easy to estimate high demand periods), or better yet develop an iPhone app to request a cab? Easy - there's no incentive. The protected monopoly we have now leads to poor service and a lack of innovation.

Nenshi doesn't even mention the cost of fares in his article. I recently spent some time in Hong Kong and Singapore, and I was shocked at how cheap the fares were there. Keep in mind that these cities have a cost of living that is similar to Calgary (CPI within 5%), and higher gas prices (50-100% higher). Singapore also has some of the highest levels of vehicle ownership taxes in the world. However taxi fares are 30-60% lower than they are here. This leads me to beleive that significant price gouging is occurring at the present (regulated) fare.

Reducing barriers to entry is the key to what needs to happen. Allowing entrepreneurial drivers to easily set up their own businesses will drive market innovation, service and lower prices.

So why aren't we seeing any change? The current cab companies (Checker, Associated etc.) are very entrenched in the market, and will fight to protect their position. I wouldn't be surprised to see them on the donor lists of every member of city council. They're smart guys, and they're obviously making lots of money. Also there's the problem of what to do with the existing licenses. The City has created these objects with artificial values in excess of $100,000 - lift the cap on licenses and these would be worthless. The City would have to compensate existing owners of these somehow, which would have the potential to turn into a political gongshow. So we are stuck with the current, crappy, inefficient, and expensive system.

Sorry for the rant, it was inspired by my weekend taxi experience.
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  #4966  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 5:17 PM
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Originally Posted by artvandelay View Post
The City has created these objects with artificial values in excess of $100,000 - lift the cap on licenses and these would be worthless. The City would have to compensate existing owners of these somehow
Why?
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  #4967  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 5:18 PM
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And yes, more cabs would be great, my late night BRT idea was going with the assumption that the taxi system will be broken here for another another decade. I'm curious how much it would cost CT to run BRT's just Fri and Sat nights.
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  #4968  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 5:29 PM
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Why?
Well technically the city could do whatever they want - I'd prefer that they don't compensate owners. I just doubt that would go over well with some of the bleeding hearts on council. And I'm sure the media would pick up the stories of some poor bastard spending his life savings on a taxi medallion, only to have it become worthless - bad PR for politicians.
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  #4969  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 5:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DizzyEdge View Post
Why?
Unless the city wrote some sort of value guarantee into the medallion agreements, which would have been stupid, they have no reason to keep the value in them.
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  #4970  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 5:59 PM
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Maybe we need a taxi thread. Does anyone know how the taxi system works in Toronto? (there there seems to always be 5 taxies per block at all times of the day.)
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Last edited by DizzyEdge; Jun 7, 2012 at 6:28 PM.
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  #4971  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 10:10 PM
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I was just looking on the West LRT site, and the bus route changes. http://www.westlrt.ca/contentreports/calgarytransit.cfm

There are a few changes from the previous 'Final' bus routes published in May. Also, the SW BRT is now called the 306, starting from Westbrook, and I think going to Heritage.

Just interesting. It seems the changes were due to budgetary constraints.

Interestingly, the Roads department have already built (or are building) the new bus asphalt zones for the newly re-routed number 47 in Lakeview, but now they will not be used, because the number 47 is not being re-routed after all.
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  #4972  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2012, 12:38 AM
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So if the 301 is being replaced by the WLRT, what about the north leg of the 301? Maybe some combination of the 301 and the 302 is in order?
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  #4973  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2012, 1:14 AM
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Originally Posted by DizzyEdge View Post

So if the 301 is being replaced by the WLRT, what about the north leg of the 301? Maybe some combination of the 301 and the 302 is in order?
I'm not sure if combining the 301 and the 302 makes sense at this point. The capacity requirements are just too different. It would just be awkward if half the 301s head down to Seton while the other half turn around downtown and head back north. If anything the 300 would probably be a closer match to the 302 in capacity needs, especially if the city goes ahead and replaces #3 busses with 301s. I suppose it depends on how successful the 300 trial ends up being and how much ridership growth on the 302. Perhaps the SE BRT improvements will go ahead, though I have my doubts about how much of that infrastructure would be reusable for LRT, and ridership will increase to a level approaching that which requires 301 level frequencies.
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  #4974  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2012, 4:23 AM
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Toronto has lots of taxis in certain places because there are lots of offices, entertainments, hotels and residences compressed. There are issues with multiple classes of medallions (human rights complaint on racial discrimination of all things).

Sure, taxis would be great to fix. But it is worth the political capital to fix it, especially when by the end of the decade the problem may have fixed itself?
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  #4975  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2012, 3:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MalcolmTucker View Post
Toronto has lots of taxis in certain places because there are lots of offices, entertainments, hotels and residences compressed. There are issues with multiple classes of medallions (human rights complaint on racial discrimination of all things).

Sure, taxis would be great to fix. But it is worth the political capital to fix it, especially when by the end of the decade the problem may have fixed itself?
What are you referring to?
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  #4976  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2012, 3:13 PM
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I assume self driving Google cars. Seriously. And I can definitely see it within 10 years.
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  #4977  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2012, 3:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalcolmTucker View Post
Toronto has lots of taxis in certain places because there are lots of offices, entertainments, hotels and residences compressed. There are issues with multiple classes of medallions (human rights complaint on racial discrimination of all things).

Sure, taxis would be great to fix. But it is worth the political capital to fix it, especially when by the end of the decade the problem may have fixed itself?
Toronto and other cities have lots of taxis because they have increased the number of leases over the past 20 years while Calgary has consistently focused on limiting the number of medalions.
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  #4978  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2012, 8:03 PM
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^ Calgary had an over supply of medalions, I don't think we are under served per capita compared to Toronto and others, but I could be wrong. (remember for comparisons that Toronto's ambassador class medlions are only allowed on the road 12 hours a day)
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  #4979  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2012, 4:25 AM
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Originally Posted by fusili View Post
One of the things I disagree with Nenshi on, and perhaps most people as well, is that taxis should be completely deregulated, and other than passing a driving test, and a regular safety inspection, there should be no restriction on that service.
100% agreed. The quota system has made a small group of people (those who own the taxi licenses) very wealthy, at the expense of everyone else in the economy.

At the very least, the new cab licenses are a step in the right direction, because they can't be transferred or sold.
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  #4980  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2012, 4:39 PM
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Or, how about simply an extension of Calgary Transit?
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