City of Regina Plans to Solve Cab Shortage by Adding…6 Temporary Licences…

Blog, Regulation, Steve Lafleur

Regina has a serious taxi shortage. The city has 126 taxi licences for over 200,000 residents. In other words, there are nearly 1600 people per cab. A reasonable person might assume that this is a significant problem, especially in a dispersed city like Regina that does not have a great deal of mass transit. Aside from the fact that taxis are handy for non-drivers, they’re also a pretty big part of mitigating drunk driving. While adding a six taxis won’t hurt, it also won’t have much of an effect.

The fact that few people consider the extreme lack of taxis a problem suggests that people have, for the most part, simply decided that taxis are not a viable transportation option. Draw your own conclusion about how that might effect things like the rate of drunk driving, but it would be naive to suggest that it is a small factor.

Adding six taxi licenses seems like a cynical attempt to convince the public that the problem is being addressed (by generating headlines like “City of Regina Plans for More Taxis”). One can’t help but wonder whether the inaction has to do with pressure from taxi license holders, who wouldn’t want to see the value of their licenses diluted.