6.08.2010

you have earned +1 cab company

I had the opportunity to enjoy a warm sunny afternoon in the company of a large pile of groceries today while waiting just over twenty minutes for a cab.  In that time I had a chance to wonder why a city like Toronto would want more than one cab company.  Like most Canadian cities we have a regulated taxi rate.  There is some debate about whether or not that is Good Thing (TM) but I'll let you make up your mind on that.

My thinking is, if the rate is the same across cab companies, who benefits from not centralizing dispatch across all companies?

A cabbie for Becks (for instance) could be just around the corner from someone who puts a call in to Royal Taxi.  The Becks cabbie now waits and so does the caller, not knowing they could help each other out.

As far as my twenty minute musings can determine, the overall effect of a centralized dispatch point across all cab companies would be that cabbies spend less time and gas on their way to pick up fares who spend less time waiting. Because there are more cabs in the system, the probability of lower proximity between cabs and fares increases.

I figure there must be a slimy middleman somewhere in this scheme collecting profit from the current lack of optimization and I have a feeling that person can be found where taxi permits are issued, but I'm not certain.

Anyone have an idea here? Who benefits from the existing configuration?  I'd like to work out who it is so I can point to them and say; "Look at this awful time-wasting, smog-loving profiteer who wants to make you wait in the beautiful sunshine erm, pouring rain so they can make a better percentage!"
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