Busy season for taxis has some wishing Halifax will reform industry -- or allow Uber
'Tis the season for Christmas parties and office get-togethers and that also means a higher demand for cabs in the Halifax area.
So much so, some customers are complaining about lengthy delays and calling for the ride sharing service Uber to cruise into town.
“We're just trying to hail a cab for ages,” said Kirsten Humbert. “We saw maybe three or four go by. People were ahead of us and we got to that prime spot where we thought ‘for sure, we’re going to get the next one.’ Then this gentleman walked in front of us and jumped in our cab!”
Brian Herman at Casino Taxi admits that, at this time of year, holiday parties mixed with winter weather can cause delays.
“When demand is super high and when taxi time to respond is limited, we simply don't have enough cars to meet the demand at certain times,” Herman said.
In addition to the holiday crunch, he blames the cap on cabbies imposed by council back 1994.
Since that time the population has grown.
He wants council to put customers in the driver’s seat so local companies can compete with ride-share services.
“It seems like it's more accessible, like easier to get an Uber and it's easier than calling a cab and waiting on hold it busy,” said Halifax resident Josh Gerlofs.
More cab companies are offering apps to book and track their ride but cab driver Darshan Virk says putting too many cars on the road could impact their bottom line.
“I think people need patience,” Virk said. “Uber is not going to solve the problem either.”
But Uber says they're “eager to engage with Halifax Regional Council to develop smart ridesharing regulations to ensure residents can benefit from ridesharing.”
A report on the taxi industry will go before council in 2019 and that will steer any possible changes to come.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Marie Adsett.