Saskatoon taxi companies are jockeying for the right to pick up fares at the city's airport as passengers hope whoever gets the contract can improve what has been viewed as deteriorating service.

In recent months, many would-be cab riders have been cooling their heels waiting for taxis to arrive at the airport.

Studies have indicated Saskatoon could use more cabs for a city of its size.

Bill Restall, the president and CEO of the Saskatoon Airport Authority, said the objective of the new contract is to improve service, with any combination of cab companies.

"It's open to any company: collectively, individually or as partnerships," Restall said. "So it's not one company, it can be all of the companies, it could be some of the companies, it can be any combination thereof."

Restall said getting enough cabs to the airport is all that counts.

"What we are interested in is customer service," Restall said. "That's why we've gone to the industry ... and said 'Give us a proposal. One, some of you, all of you, please give us some proposals about how you would provide good service to the airport'."

Restall noted that at times the airport is busy enough to use nearly all taxis in the city. He cited research indicating that the same number of cabs are on the road in Saskatoon today as there were 30 years ago. But during that time, he said passenger volumes at the airport have tripled.