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How long did you wait for your last cab? City wants to know in effort to improve service

The taxi industry says we’ve got too many cabs on the streets for a driver to make a decent living. The city says we need between 300 and 600 more to serve the growth in population since the last licenses were issued in 2003.

So which is it?

The Taxi Cab Industry Review, a division of the city’s Municipal Standards and Licensing department, has been trying to figure it out since September 2011. Now, they’ve got a questionnaire up to find out what both drivers and passengers think.

“It is asking taxi cab riders in the city of Toronto to let us know more about how they use taxicabs,” says Vanessa Fletcher, project manager for the review, who says there are currently about 5,000 licensed taxis in the city. “Where do you use them and why? How long do you wait for them? And how long do you think you should wait?”

So far, Fletcher’s department has hired a consultant, Taxi Research Partners led by Dr. James Cooper (at a consulting fee of $68,332), and have gone out themselves to taxi ranks around the city to time how long cabs were waiting for fares. The average, they found, was 39 minutes.

The city has no statistics on driver income, but according to a very limited survey conducted by Open File around the same time, drivers figure they can make between $600 and $1,000 profit a week, with the higher end requiring 12-hour days, seven days a week.

The city's taxi survey will wrap up at the end of the month, and Fletcher expects the final report to be in to the city by the end June.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Vanessa Fletcher

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.
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