WINNIPEG taxi companies have aggressively snatched up available seasonal licences to an extent not seen in several years.

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This article was published 19/11/2008 (4718 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

WINNIPEG taxi companies have aggressively snatched up available seasonal licences to an extent not seen in several years.

But whether that will lead to a significant increase in the number of permanent cabs in Winnipeg is yet to be seen.

Every year the Manitoba Taxicab Board makes 70 seasonal licences available for operation during the winter months.

But Jerry Kozubal, secretary of the board, said in the past three years the most that have even been deployed was 35. This year the board has approved and licensed all 70 and there are also an additional 14 limousines operating under temporary limousine permits going into the winter period.

"The companies look at a number of factors, including things like expectations about the relative severity of the winter," Kozubal said.

This year, the demand for seasonal licences is framed around a much deeper demand being expressed by some in the industry for a substantial number of new permanent cars on the road.

It led the taxicab board to commission a review of the supply and demand of taxis in Winnipeg by a U.S. consultant who is an expert in the field. The board has received the final report but no one outside the board has seen it.

In the meantime, there has been a flood of new licence applications -- a total of 740 in all.

There are now 551 permanent taxis of all types including handi-cab vans in Winnipeg plus the 70 new seasonal cabs and 14 limos starting Monday.

On Wednesday the taxicab board began hearings on a number of the new applicants including Mohamed Noor, who is looking for one handi-cab van licence to be dispatched by Spring Taxi.

But that was opposed by the general managers of both Unicity and Duffy's who said the four such vehicles those firms run are also dispatched as regular cabs as there is not enough demand for them exclusively as handi-cabs.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Martin Cash

Martin Cash
Reporter

Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.

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