CALGARY TAXI BULLETIN #027 TAXI STAND ENGAMENT SURVEY

BULLETIN #027

TAXI STAND ENGAGEMENT SURVEY

2022 DECEMBER 28

We want to hear your opinions about taxi stands in downtown Calgary.

On December 6, 2022, Vehicle for Hire hosted two Engagement Sessions with Taxi Drivers regarding Taxi Stands.  We now would like to hear your feedback and ideas on taxi stand locations through a survey.

This survey will be open to until midnight on January 8, 2023.

Access to the survey can be found by clicking this link: https://calgaryca.questionpro.ca/TaxiStandEngagement

If you have further questions about these sessions, please contact ltsengagement@calgary.ca

Thank you for your participation and feedback on taxi stands and their use.

Sincerely,

Abdul Rafih

Deputy Chief VFH Public Safety


 

 

How Cab Drivers Can Fight the Covide 19 Virus

 

John Bliss

Cab Drivers Fight Covide 19: Here’s how

I have had many years of experience cab driving and as a result, am no stranger to contagions in my taxi. I can’t even begin count the number of people I have picked up who were ill with what is usually a common cold or flu.
Before flu vaccines, I was nearly always sick with the same illness within two or three days. It meant lost time from work.
To reduce the likelihood of becoming ill, I developed a number of tricks over the years that proved their worth and saved me one hell of a lot of down time due to illness.
Here are some of the tricks:
Once flu shots became available, I took them every year. It built resistance over time and reduced the severity of the common cold. So, get those flu shots.
1. Carry and use regularly hand lotion sanitizers throughout your shift. I always carried the pocket type in my pockets and used it frequently throughout the shift and take it with you when using a public washroom.
Given the current shortage of such products, you may have to improvise with Lysol or flushable wet wipes. You can even use your windshield washer fluid! Methyl hydrate (alcohol) or KleenFlo could be purchased from many gas stations or hardware stores too. Always spray such liquids from a spray bottle for cleaning yourself or the car.
A good soldier will always improvise when he has to—so improvise!

2. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. No soap? Use liquid dish soap or liquid laundry soap will do.

3. The inside of the car will need a very quick interior cleaning right after clearing each and every trip. It is necessary even though time is precious:
• Spray the back seat and any other part of the car that customers may have touched such as door handles window openers and seat belts. Pay particular attention to the seat occupied by the passenger and the head rest in front of him.
• Roll all the windows down long enough once the car is moving to purge the interior air from any toxins or other unpleasant smells. In extreme cold, about five to ten minutes should be enough.
• Visit a carwash twice a day for an interior wash: once halfway through the shift and once at the end of the shift. Be sure the cross shift does the same. Expensive, unfortunately, with carwash fees and extra down time, but remember this is a national emergency like the outbreak of war.

Best of Luck My Friends this won’t last forever.

John Bliss

EDITORIAL

John Bliss

It appears that both BC. Premier John Horgan and Surry Mayor Doug McCallum are both not clear on the concept of healthy competition. Owing to political expedience on both sides, they prefer fighting with each other over Uber than come to grips with the fundamental realities of the problem.

The problem is this: market fragmentation is an economic phenomina that is non other than an infectious disease that is guaranteed to kill a vital sector of the economy. Market fragmentation is the source of friction between Uber and the taxi industry.

John Horgan

Mr. Horgan obviously fails to understand that Uber’s business model fragments the industry as opposed to healthy competition. Here’s what he had to say: “I think the way forward for Surrey and for Mr. McCallum is to listen to the citizens of his community who want competition.”

Ride hailing is indeed a novel marketing innovation for the industry to follow provided that the taxi/ride hailing companies do not compromise the ability of drivers to earn a living wage by oversizing their fleets. Uber has so severely fragmented the market that neither taxi nor ride hailing drivers can earn anything even remotely close to a basic minimum wage. They simply cannot earn a living and both Uber and the Taxi companies know that and could care less.

The Vancouver-Surry taxi companies could, for the most part, care less about the impact of Uber on driver’s personal income, but they are concerned about something else, the medallion system and the monopoly it provides.

The medallion is a transferrable taxi license the number of which is limited by law in most municipalities and provides the current taxi companies in Surry and Vancouver a monopoly in a highly protected market. Its intention was to prevent the streets from being clogged with empty taxis and ensuring that drivers could earn a decent living and be an attractive career option for young persons entering the work force. In other words, the medallion system recognized taxi driving for what it is—a respectable profession.

Governments have thus unwittingly given the cab companies a lucrative monopoly to the detriment of drivers and the riding public. Fixed stand rents paid to cab companies and usurious subleasing fees paid by driver-owners to these companies rendered yet again impoverished and angry drivers and a severe deterioration of service quality to the public. Little wonder drivers and customers are flocking to Uber and Lyft like flies to honey.

Drivers, in general don’t see a significant improvement in fares but Uber does not charge them a fixed stand rent or subleasing fees. Their net income is somewhat higher but not high enough given the number of cars Uber et al insist on having in their fleet.

Consumers, on the other hand are attracted to Uber owing to faster response time—but a less well trained and professional driver behind the wheel unless he’s a defecting cab driver.

The BC government would do well to follow Quebec’s example with its new legislation Bill 17 which takes the regulation of public transportation by automobile away from municipalities and into the hands of a provincial taxi commission. It kills the medallion system and allows taxis and ride share to pick up fares in any jurisdiction in which they clear.

It’s a serious failure of leadership for governments failing to bring taxi regulation into the 21st century within the spirit and advice of Canada’s Federal Competition Bureau’s report of November 26, 2015 titled Modernizing Regulation in Canada’s taxi industry . Governments, please take the advice of the bureau’s advice to heart.