Decentralize taxi dispatch, driver suggests
A Calgary cab driver says the city should establish taxi stands that can be contacted directly by the public as a way of shortening wait times.
Rajiv Kapil, who heads the city's Cab Drivers' Association, says the current system of dispatching taxis from a central office is inefficient.
In many German cities, he said, customers calling to request a ride are connected directly to the nearest taxi stand.
If there are no cabs at that stand they are automatically transferred to the next nearest stand.
"More cabs will be available. It will be cost effective and it will be environmentally friendly," Kapil said.
And it would help alleviate what many say is the biggest problem with taxi service in Calgary — the wait.
"The waiting time for taxis in the northeast is pretty long you know. It's just ridiculous," Kapil said.
Sara Barry, a low income mother who needs taxis for grocery shopping and other errands, said most of the attention surrounding Calgary's cab shortage is focused on downtown after-hours customers.
But suburban customers like Barry get forgotten, she said. So Barry supports any reform that would improve local service.
Kapil is promoting his plan with letters to the city and the province.