Friday, 7 November 2014

Canadian Taxi Monopoly is attempting to curb consumer choice

London anti-Uber taxi protest June 11 2014 036
Anti-Uber taxi protest chaos in London in June - is Vancouver next?
Creative Commons image by zongo on Flickr
by Todd Romaine

Desperate last straw efforts to save an archaic monopoly will be hitting Canadian airwaves in the coming days as the Canadian Taxicab Association (@CTA_Taxi) tries to argue that taking an “unregulated vehicle” is the same thing as having some stranger with no flying experience operate your flight.

Yes, this is how silly it is getting to try to convince consumers to stay with a system that profits handsomely by ensuring an undersupply of taxis and causing endless frustrations in commuters. The idea of introducing more drivers on the road whom will charge less money than the traditional monopolistic rates has this industry running scared that competition will mean less fares and more accountability to customer service.

In Uber’s defense, they do background checks on the drivers and look after insurance. Whether a taxi driver is better than a regular driver is highly subjective however.

To compare driving a motor vehicle to that of flying a sophiscated flying machine is just plain silly and is insulting to commuters that want to reduce their waiting time and the ensuing bill for their commute.

In Vancouver, a 6 month moratorium was placed on the issuance of more taxi licenses which thereby prohibits Uber from entering the market.

In addition, Vancouver cab companies have gone as far as to launch a lawsuit against Uber, even before they have actually started business in the city. Politicians have thus far weighed in on the side of the traditional taxi operators, but there is little doubt that the free market and providing consumers with greater choice will sweep over the old age era of convenient protectionism for those maintaining an arguably corrupt fiefdom that deliberately limits competition despite overwhelming evidence of increasing demand.

As a mechanism to bolster growing support in Vancouver, Uber launched a job fair for new drivers and has created an online petition (over 6,000 signatures to date) to be circulated to the City of Vancouver requesting entrance to address an arguably growing business need.

For the taxi monopoly, the age old tricks of lawsuits and intimidation will eventually backfire so its high time they accept Uber as a legitimate competitor and begin to enhance customer service and reduce fares if they wish to stay in business over the long term.

Related resources:
UberX targeted by cab companies with ad campaign over safety
Uber launches online petition to raise public support for Vancouver service
Uber block: Vancouver taxi companies seek injunction against ride-share service
Uber Vancouver to get undercover government checks to enforce taxi regulations
Cities must crack down on the scourge of convenient, efficient taxi service
Uber provides the taxi industry a good kick in the pants


  1. To be fair, I'm not going to go as far as HATING taxis. I actually like taking cabs. However, if a better choice exists, I'll take it. The fact that these taxi cartels are impeding choice rather than improving customer experience is evidence of how much they really don't care. Bang on with the "backfire" comment. "But we have all these rules and regulations to keep people safe BUT REALLY JUST TO KEEP OUT COMPETITORS" Backfires pretty hard when new leaner competitors can enter the marketplace fat-free. Nice work !!!

    1. Thanks for your feedback Kyle.

      Speaking of hating taxis (or not), you might enjoy this story behind our name: