The Consumer Complaints Blog

Fighting the trained monkey in modern society.

August 3, 2010

Toronto transportation thoughts – Just a muse

Filed under: Helping You Shop — Editor @ 6:19 pm

Imagine leaving your Toronto (any city) office for a luncheon, or a late-night soiree at a local hotspot, and instead of seeing hundreds of varying makes, models, sizes of individually owned cars, you see similarly marked, small, quiet, AC powered taxis. AND, not just sitting idle wasting time at the curb waiting for the next fare. They are all over. In fact, there are more of them than regular privately owned cars on the road. There are in fact so many, that as soon as you raise your hand, one quietly and seamlessly slides up to the sidewalk and wisks you off to a destination 5 kms away for a modest $10.00.

The city has thousands of these. Most owned by one of several different modernized privately owned taxi fleets. The fare prices are modest because the city has reduced the licensing fees (taxes) that used to run taxi companies hundreds of thousands, to a modest level to help ensure a return on investment to the taxi company owners. Sure, City loses some tax revenue but saves not having to spend another billion on TTC.

The cars typically cost $15,000 and with insurance, maintenance and a driver, can easily run $40,000 per year to operate. However, with a min start fee of $5 and $40 per hour thereafter, drivers are kept on the road all of the time making more fare money + tips. Instead of a typical taxi with 10 fares a day grossing $250, these cars are constantly on the go – 20 hours per day @ an average of $30-$40 per hour. Even if these are higher than expected, it’s over $200,000 per year per vehicle.

Keeping taxi costs lower, providing a more efficient, pleasant ride would result in this becoming a widely accepted method of economical public transportation. Not to compete with TTC but to provide an option, especially for late nighters.

Oh yes, it would also help boost the entertainment/restaurant business, most of whom are barely hanging in there with the scourge on drinking these days. Ever had to take a taxi from downtown to a 905 destination at 1:00 am. Trip takes about 30 minutes and puts a $100 hole in your pocket.

Anyway, could it work? Are there holes in it? Would I be willing to invest in it? (yes). I’m certainly not a transportation expert but I think the idea deserves merit and thought I would share it with you.

Thanks for listening.

This article was submitted by one of our readers. Penciltrick cannot make any claims as to its authenticity but the article was accepted on a good faith belief that it is an accurate and truthful account of the events listed.

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