Friday, May 4, 2018

Blame Hamilton's Politicians for the Accessible Taxi Fiasco.

Hamilton City council voted unanimously to grant unlimited, flexible taxi licenses to the Uber cab company back in January of 2017. Along with granting generous exemptions from the plethora of regulations burdening the other two taxi companies, it's worth noting that the Uber cab company was also exempted from accessible taxi mandates in return for a pittance of $20,000 per year. (Less than half the cost of a single accessible taxi.)

Predictably, the decision to double and triple taxi capacity, in a city that was already saturated with cabs, resulted in a massive blow to the earnings of the city's non-exempt taxi drivers.

We've had more than a year now to assess the damage. What has surprised and puzzled me, is that the day business for non-exempt taxis, has experienced far less of a decline in volume than has the night shift. Many day drivers report an imperceptible impact.

The reason for this is that, at least in part, most of the cabbies who work with Uber Cab have other full time jobs, and only come out in the evenings. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Uber drivers come out in droves to skim the cream off the top of what were formerly the most lucrative shifts for non-exempt drivers. These shifts often represented the bulk of the weekly earnings for the non-exempt drivers.

According to the CHCH report (see link below,)

"Last weekend was a family BBQ. Jackson called Blue Line Taxi to see if they could get there and back with her son. She got there ok, but at 8:30pm, she couldn’t get home."

At 8:30pm she couldn't get home.

Well f*****g duh!

Could the reason there were no accessible taxis available at 8:30 P.M. is because the city's decision to partner up with the Uber corporation has gutted the night business for non-exempt cabs? What sane individual would choose to suffer through a 12 hour night shift if they won't earn anything?

To add a bit of lunacy to the insanity,

"City of Hamilton licencing department is in the process of issuing 18 new accessible taxi licences."

Yeah. Like putting even MORE taxis on the streets, and making it EVEN MORE DIFFICULT for individual drivers to earn a living will solve the problem. Not one of those 18 new cabs will have any more incentive to struggle through those deserted evening hours than the ones that are already out there. Those extra cabs will have almost zero impact upon the availability of accessible taxis and will, in fact only make matters worse for the struggling members of the non-exempt taxi sector.

This would all be quite hilarious if not for the misery and damage Hamilton's politicians "unanimously" chose to inflict on the hapless cab drivers of this city, and, as an unforeseen consequence, upon those citizens who hoped to rely upon accessible transportation.

See:

Paraplegic woman says she was left stranded when no accessible cabs were available

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