A 98 year old wheelchair bound person boarding a Checker Cab in Calgary.

Of the City of Calgary’s 1820 transferrable taxi licenses (often called medallions due to their value) 750 medallions are held by the three largest brokers in the city: Associated Cabs, Checker Cabs and Mayfair Taxi–but not one of these is attached to a wheelchair accessible van (WAV) for a variety of cock and bull excuses.

Excuse number 1:  Drivers don’t have pockets deep enough to invest $55,000 in such cars because there is not enough income to support such an investment.

True, but the brokers certainly do.  So why aren’t they buying the cars themselves?  An investment of $4.5 million  would add 83 cars to the fleet.  That’s enough to meet the City’s requirement of 11% of cars that are to be WAVs.

Excuse number 2:  Drivers don’t want to lease such vehicles because their cab fare income is too low relative to the lease they must pay each week.

That’s true too.  But why the hell are the taxi brokers charging them such unserious stand rents in the first place?  They can easily pay them $15 an hour or a commission of say 50% of fares earned whichever is greater after fuel is paid for and the owner pays for the carwash.

Brokers can also dispatch these cars ahead of others when vacant and allow them to park first at the airport.

It is also possible to guarantee licensed driver-owners a daily take of say $200 per 10 hour shift.

The foregoing terms would result in cab drivers seeing a move to WAV driving as a promotion with a higher income for himself and line up at the broker’s door to drive such cars.

The introduction of a centralized dispatch system would help reduce the overall capital requirements to place enough wheelchair accessible taxis on the road.

Brokers presently sublease their medallions to driver-owners at no charge.  They get from them a fixed fee called “stand rent” and that is the basis of their revenue.  The more cars a broker has the more income he earns.

If the brokers are unwilling to use their licenses to purchase WAVs as broker owned taxis then, to ensure that justice is done, The City of Calgary will have to force the issue through legislation to wit: prohibit the practice of “FREE SUBLEASING OF TRANSFERABLE PLATES” to driver owners unless the driver-owner already holds a transferable taxi license.

If taxi companies are unwilling to restructure their business model to better accommodate wheelchair bound customers and improve the incomes of cab drivers in general and WAV operators in particular, then governments must do it for them.

ProCabby:  Professional Drivers Committed to Excellence near you.  For more information go to www.procabby.com


Last May 27, 2019 council, in the course of its regular session to rubber stamp the usurious increase licensing in licensing fees for cab drivers while giving ride sharing TNCs such as Uber a sizable break on such fees even had the temerity to hear administration mention the Livery Transport Service (LTS) describe their policy of Hybrid licensing.

Hybrid licensing is LTS’ policy of applying  one set of licensing fees and rules for taxi drivers while yet another far less stringent set of rules and fees for the TNCs. It simply means that Uber can have as many cars on the road as it wants while the number of taxis must remain frozen at their present level.  In other words, any increase in demand for public automobile transportation is to be reserved for Uber and no one else contrary to the Municipal Government Act.

There is absolutely nothing in the City Bylaws or Provincial legislation that allows it–so where did they get that bright idea.

It appears that council is eager to spend even more of heavily burdened taxpayers money on legal fees.

Click the link below to see for yourself how council handled the overall licensing issue.  It clearly betrays government favoritism towards Uber at the expense of traditional taxi drivers including TNC drivers.

SEE THE DEBATE HERE it’s 7.2 on the minutes.  Just click it and it will take you to that part of the video where this is discussed.

Centralized Taxi Dispatching–a godsend for taxi drivers & passengers

The consensus of Calgary’s politicians as witnessed at their Standing Policy Committee (SPC) on Community and Protective Services meeting of last October 3, 2018  appears to be that a taxi centralized dispatching system—a godsend for an industry beleaguered by the invasion of Uber, is on its way to Calgary.

Centralizing taxi dispatch will undoubtedly eliminate horrid response times wheelchair bound travellers experience, and substantially improve the quality of service to the overall general public.

ProCabby Ltd is an Ottawa based company who hopes to fill the bill right here in Calgary and across North America and overseas.

Their model works like this: A customer calls a cab in the usual fashion or with ProCabby’s App itself on their smartphone and the cab that is physically closest to that customer will get the trip regardless the company that cab is affiliated with.

Travellers can use it in any city where ProCabby is available. Right now, they are launching in over 30 North American cities.

The reality is that few customers really care which taxi company transports them. All they really want is a highly professional driver with a clean car showing up in a timely fashion to carry them from A to B at reasonable cost without incident.

Committed and well-trained full-time career drivers are the only people that can provide such service—if local governments will let them.

The taxi industry is one of the most regulated industries in the economy—and it shows with the adnauseous red tape every time a company tries to respond to changing market conditions such as sizing their fleets to match demand. It all too often takes years before the bureaucrats and politicians are willing to resolve such issues while the public suffers.

The result was Uber barging into the market like a bull in a china shop without any regard for local legislation—and bamboozle the public into believing that Uber is their salvation with cheaper fares (Taxi fares are regulated, and Uber deliberately undercuts them), fueled by their lie that taxis are never clean, and the drivers are obnoxious.

The truth is that ProCabby’s presence in any city will substantially improve the quality of service to the public and boost the incomes of drivers and the companies who employ them.
ProCabby offers the public well-trained and professional drivers who will be on time for your trip. I can only wish them the best of luck in all of their endeavours.

Both customers and drivers are urged to register now even if the service is currently unavailable where you live as your registration will function as a petition whenever ProCabby has to deal with local governments and taxi companies.  Click here for more information on their website or e-mail support@procabby.com .  You may phone or text them at 1-833-PROCABY (1-833-776-2229)

For the record, I was the first speaker at Calgary’s SPC meeting of October 3rd so click here to hear my presentation and the committee’s reaction.