Regulation of Taxicabs
Including a section of links to taxi regulators, industry groups and similar sites.
Ballot Measures and Controller Reports have played a large role in the San Francisco cab business since the late 1970s. Read summaries of eleven taxi-related matters that have been placed before the voters along with links to the full text of each.
A 2000 campaign mailer - click here for a larger version.
District Attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco issued a joint letter regarding ongoing violations of law to Sidecar, and similar letters to Uber and Lyft. The letters cite violations of the California Business and Professions Code, and state that the companies' unlawful practices are a threat to consumers and the public. September 2014.
Administrative Law Judges for the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission issued two Recommended Decisions, A-2014-2424608 and A-2014-2416127, stating that Uber should not be granted permits to operate in the state because of its willful failure to comply with lawful orders and because it has not demonstrated a commitment to protecting the public. September 2014.
Australia's Competition Policy Review panel released a Draft Report in September 2014 that calls for overhaul of regulation in the taxi industry, among numerous other industries.
California Assembly Member Susan Bonilla became the object of negative political ads when she introduced legislation to establish insurance requirements for Uber. Governor Brown signed her legislation, Assembly Bill 2293, into law in September 2014.
Researchers from MIT and other institutions examined data on 150 million NYC taxi rides and found vast potential for greater efficiency through app-based shared ride trips. Their report, Quantifying the benefits of vehicle pooling with shareability networks is available for free download from PNAS - September 2014.
A report from UC Berkeley, App-Based On-Demand Ride Services: Comparing Taxi and Ridesourcing Trips and User Characteristics In San Francisco, concludes that UberX, Lyft, etc. have much faster response times than San Francisco taxicabs. However the authors used different methodologies for taxis and ride services, and did not compare taxi apps with ride service apps. August 2014.
The City of Chicago hired Nelson-Nygaard to review the city's taxi industry. Taxi Fare Rate Study - Final Report estimates that drivers earn about $12 per hour. August 2014.
NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life This visualization displays the data for one random NYC yellow taxi on a single day in 2013. See where it operated, how much money it made, and how busy it was over 24 hours.
San Francisco online journal 48Hills published: Uber’s tax-avoidance strategy costs government millions. How’s that for “sharing?” July 2014.
NBC took a critical look at San Francisco taxis: Badly Behaving San Francisco Taxi Cab Drivers Face Few Consequences July 2014.
New York State's Department of Financial Services issued a cease-and-desist demand to Lyft and then sought a court injunction barring Lyft from operations in New York. July 8, 2014
California PUC President Michael Peevey wrote a letter to Uber's Travis Kalanick expressing his disappointment over Uber's flouting of CPUC regulations, June 10, 2014.
In June 2014 the California Public Utilities Commission continued its attempt to regulate TNC "rideshares" by issuing Proposed Modifications which would have strengthened its previous insurance requirements. However the Proposed Modifications were weakened substantially in early July prior to a hearing, and then were not acted upon. The CPUC may revisit TNC insurance in August 2014. Before the July revisions, various parties to the proceeding filed comments and reply comments regarding TNC insurance.
Summon formerly known as InstantCab
The Law Commission issued its May 2014 report Taxi and Private Hire Services with recommendations for national regulation of many aspects of taxi and private-hire operations in England and Wales. Among documents from the Law Commission report are the full report, a summary of recommendations and (extracted from the full report) the proposed Bill to be submitted to Parliament. Recommendations include: uniform standards for drivers, vehicles and dispatch services throughout England and Wales including London; disability awareness training for drivers; new legal definitions of taxi and private hire service; freeing up cross-border work for private hire; local licensing and enforcement; additional local authority regarding taxis including fare-setting, optional additional standards, and the option to place a limit on the numbers of taxis.
Taxicab Paratransit Association of California vs. Public Utilities Commission of the State of California is a lawsuit alleging violation of environmental protection law and misclassification of illegal taxicabs as Transportation Network Companies. See the petition for writ of review and the motion to expedite before the California Supreme Court, and the related petition for writ of review and motion to expedite before the Appellate Court. See also the TPAC press release of May 9, 2014.
San Francisco International Airport letter to California Public Utilities Commission regarding illegal operation of commercial rideshare vehicles, and related report to SFO Airport Commission, May 9, 2014.
An NBC investigation into "rideshare" background checks appeared in three different reports from Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The reports found that lax background checks by Uber led to the hiring of unsuitable drivers.
City of Houston Taxi Study Results from January 2014, and the April 9, 2014 presentations of Dr. Ray Mundy and Dr. James Cooper to the Joint Public Safety and Transportation Council Committees.
April 7, 2014 California Department of Insurance letter to the California Public Utilities Commission stating the Departments findings regarding current "rideshare" insurance and recommendations.
Greater Houston Transportation Company et al vs Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc is a lawsuit filed by taxicab and limousine operators on April 8, 2014 in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston.) The suit seeks injunctions and damages, and asserts: violations of local ordinances in Houston and San Antonio; false advertising and misrepresentation of services in violation of the Lanham Act; wire fraud; unfair competition; and racketeering in violation of the RICO Act. Of special note among the affidavits filed with the suit is the affidavit of insurance expert Gregory Serio.
The California Public Utilities Commission will conduct a rehearing on certain parts of its September 2013 Decision on Transportation Network Companies. Issues to be reviewed include insurance, drug testing, commercial license plates, and the status of Uber as a TNC. The rehearing is in response to requests filed in October 2013 by the Taxicab Paratransit Association of California and by Uber Technologies. (Note that this item is different from the Request for Comments on Proposed Modifications described in the block below.)
The California Public Utilities Commission issued a Request for Comments on Proposed Modifications to its TNC insurance requirements and other changes on March 25, 2014. Among the responses delivered to the Proceeding Service List in early April are the Initial Comments of:
United Taxicab Workers of San Francisco
City and County of San Francisco on behalf of SFMTA and SFO
Attorney Chris Dolan on behalf of deceased pedestrian Sofia Liu and her family
Luxor Cab of San Francisco
Summon formerly known as InstantCab
Former Mayor Willie Brown on behalf of Wingz, formerly known as Tickengo
Illinois Transportation Association v. The City of Chicago is a lawsuit filed February 2014 in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago) seeking enforcement of taxi regulations against Unlawful Transportation Companies. (8 MB)
KQED in San Francisco published a report on TNC safety and inspections: What UberX Drivers Are Saying About Their Training and Safety Issues February 20, 2014. The report found that vehicle inspections consisted of merely emailing a photo of the vehicle.
Toronto Taxicab Industry Review - Final Report January 2014.
District of Columbia Recommendations on Ridesharing dated January 24, 2014.
Liu vs Uber is a lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court following the death of young pedestrian Sophia Liu. She and two family members were hit in a crosswalk on New Year's Eve by an UberX driver. The suit alleges wrongful death and negligence due to distracted driving caused by the Uber app.
California Department of Insurance Notice to Transportation Network Company Drivers advising of potential gaps in insurance coverage, January 2014.
New York City 2014 Taxicab Fact Book.
Internet Advocacy ’Uber’ Alles: What Uber-Fans Accomplished in Boston & What It Means for Urban Democracy & Local Government. This insightful paper by Harvard law school student Molly Cohen is must-read for taxi industry participants who face organized social media campaigns by wealthy elites. Ms. Cohen presented her views at the October 2013 TLPA conference in Boston.
The Boston Taxi Consultant's Report issued October 2013 offers a refreshing view of driver earnings. Full time drivers make $60,000 annually according to Nelson/Nygaard. See also the 381 page Appendix to the report.
Model Regulations: Smartphone Application Technology for Taxicabs and Limousines provides a menu of options for local regulators to consider in the regulation of smartphone apps. Issued September 23, 2013 in St. Louis by the International Association of Transportation Regulators.
The California Public Utilities Commission issued its Decision Adopting Rules and Regulations To Protect Public Safety While Allowing New Entrants To The Transportation Industry on September 23, 2013 in San Francisco. Commercial "rideshare" operators such as Lyft, Sidecar and UberX will be awarded a new class of permit as "Transportation Network Companies." The regulations are largely self-enforced and allow TNCs to dispatch an unlimited number of non-commercial personal cars in commercial for-hire passenger service. TNC drivers do not need a for-hire permit. Applications for a rehearing of the decision were filed on October 23 by Uber and by the Taxicab Paratransit Association of California.
For-hire vehicles include limousines and taxicabs. Regulations for each are challenged by commercial "rideshares" and other taxi-like services that claim exemption from regulation.
A class action lawsuit against Lyft was filed in US District Court in San Francisco on September 3, 2013. The suit alleges that drivers are misclassified employees, that Lyft unlawfully takes 20% of gratuity payments from drivers, and that drivers are due reimbursement for mileage costs.
Passenger transport in isolated communities is written evidence to the UK Parliament Transport Select Committee from Samuel Fisher's Fare Enough campaign regarding working conditions of for-hire drivers in northern UK communities. According to the testimony, a private hire driver often earns no more than £2.00 per hour for a 50 hour week. Prepared September 23, 2013.
One class of owner-operated transferable taxi permit would replace several current types under a plan proposed by the City of Toronto in the Toronto Taxicab Industry Review: Framework for Further Consultation of June 2013.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine
June 11, 2013
Effectiveness of Taxicab Security Equipment in Reducing Driver Homicide Rates
Cammie K. Chaumont Menéndez, PhD, Harlan E. Amandus, PhD, Parisa Damadi, BS, Nan Wu, MS, Srinivas Konda, MPH, Scott A. Hendricks, MS
(Am J Prev Med 2013;45(1):1-8)
From page 5 of the article:
"These data support the hypothesis that installing cameras in taxicabs results in a reduction in citywide taxicab driver homicide rates post-installation (seven times lower homicide rate) and compared to cities with neither cameras nor partitions (three times lower homicide rate). The data do not support the hypothesis that cities with partitions installed in taxicabs experience lower taxicab driver homicide rates than cities with neither cameras nor partitions. This is the first study to methodically collect data from a nationally representative sample of the largest taxicab cities over a 15-year time span that allows for comparison of rates pre- and post-installation of cameras."
See also a related article by the same authors "Cities with camera-equipped taxicabs experience reduced taxicab driver homicide rates: United States, 1996 - 2010"
In June, District of Columbia Councilmember Mary M. Cheh sent a letter in support of Uber to the DC Taxi Commission. Three days later the Federal Trade Commission sent a similar letter in support of Uber to the DC Taxi Commission.
Professor Alan Fels conducted a Taxi Industry Inquiry for the Victoria (Australia) government which started in March 2011 and was completed in December 2012. In May 2013 the Victorian government accepted most of the recommendations. The reforms to be implemented include leases of taxi permits by the Victorian Taxi Directorate for $20,000 per year without a cap on the number of permits, and a 55% minimum split of meter revenues for taxicab drivers.
Matt Daus and law firm Windels Marx released a report on unlicensed commercial ride services titled Ridesharing Applications: Illegal Hitchhiking For-Hire or Sustainable Group Riding? A Legal and Policy Primer for Ground Transportation Regulation. (May 2013)
The Austin (Texas) Transportation Department prepared a Rideshare Report for the Mayor and City Council issued on May 31, 2013. The report examined rideshare regulations in other places and includes the results of the department's own investigation of commercial rideshare operations in Austin.
The Center on Policy Initiatives of San Diego State University issued a May 2013 report titled Driven to Despair: A Survey of San Diego Taxi Drivers. Based on self-reporting, the study says that drivers make less than $5 per hour.
In April 2013 the Colorado Supreme Court reversed a district court ruling affirming the denial of Mile High Cab's application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. The case was remanded to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. A Recommended Decision was issued December 10, 2013.
Unregulated Lyft "moustache cabs" wait for fares in front of licensed taxis at a San Francisco hotel.
The California Public Utilities Commission conducted a Rulemaking Proceeding on "Regulations Relating to Passenger Carriers, Ridesharing, and New Online-Enabled Transportation Services" from December 2012 to September 2013.
The process focused on public safety and innovation regarding companies such as Uber, Lyft, Tickengo, and Sidecar. The Commission decided to create a new class of for-hire service called "Transportation Network Companies" and established rules on September 19, 2013.
Filings included the CPUC's Order Instituting Rulemaking and the formal comments of:
- Zimride (Lyft)
- Willie Brown for Tickengo
- Matt Daus for International Association of Transportation Regulators with an accompanying cover letter
- San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
- San Francisco International Airport
- Personal Insurance Federation of California
- Taxicab Paratransit Association of California
- Greater California Limousine Association
- Center for Accessible Technology
- Luxor Cab
- United Taxicab Workers with attachments one and two
- San Francisco Cab Drivers Association with attachments one, two and three
- An investigative essay by blog writer Ed Healy.
- Electronic Freedom Foundation
- California Highway Patrol
- California Insurance Commissioner
Many additional comments and replies from the various parties are available under the Documents tab on the Proceeding Details page of the CPUC web site.
Kareem Haggag and Giovanni Paci authored a discussion paper for the Department of Economics at Columbia University titled Default Tips. The March 2013 study examined 13 million credit card transactions in New York City taxicabs. The authors determined that the default tips suggested to passengers on rear-seat terminals have a large impact on tip amounts. Generally tip amounts are higher, but the authors "highlight a potential cost of setting defaults too high, as a higher proportion of customers opt to leave no credit card tip when presented with the higher suggested amounts."
In March 2013 Boston Cab Dispatch and EJT Management filed suit against Uber charging that Uber has created an illegal transportation service that violates state laws and Boston ordinances and deceives consumers about the fares they must pay, the safety of the cars and drivers transporting them, the insurance coverage available, and the legality of Uber's service.
A lawsuit pitting Taxicab Companies versus the Philadelphia Parking Authority was decided in favor of the cab companies who said that the PPA exceeded its fee-setting authority. From the decision: "Because Section 5707(b) confers autocratic power upon the Philadelphia Parking Authority to condemn property without due process, it offends the due process provisions of the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions." (February 2013)
Cabbies for Justice filed a motion for class certification in a suit against the City of Chicago charging violations of minimum wage and fair labor standards. (February 2013)
Spoof of taxi hailing apps, many of which require a separate screen dedicated exclusively to that app.
Chicago Uniform Taxi Lease Agreement 2013
Transport for London offers a free crime-prevention app to help riders connect with a legal minicab. It is part of the Cabwise campaign to prevent assaults against women passengers by illegal minicab drivers. Transport for London also provides links to commercial apps Hailo and GetTaxi. (December 2012)
Graphic for the Cabwise app from Transport for London.
Matt Daus and law firm Windels Marx in conjunction with the International Association of Transportation Regulators released "Proposed Model Regulations for Smartphone Applications in the For-Hire Industry". (November 2012)
In November the California Public Utilities Commission issued citations and $20,000 fines to unlicensed passenger carriers Uber, Sidecar and Lyft for "public safety violations." The actions follow on cease-and-desist notices to Sidecar and Lyft in August 2012 and a cease-and-desist notice to Uber from the CPUC's Consumer Safety and Protection Division in October 2010.
Two San Francisco taxicab drivers are the lead plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Uber. Leonid Goncharov and Mohammed Eddine vs Uber Technologies was filed in San Francisco Superior Court on November 9, 2012. The suit claims that Uber engaged in unfair and illegal business practices.
San Francisco taxicab regulators are moving toward a standardized data interface that will facilitate exchange of information between hailing apps and dispatch services. See the project RFI/RFQ and the project's conceptual design. (November 2012)
Two San Francisco taxicab driver associations and three individual drivers filed suit against the SFMTA seeking to block its medallion sales policy. Bill Mounsey et al vs San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was filed in San Francisco Superior Court on October 22, 2012. The same plaintiffs filed a similar suit in December 2012 challenging the SFMTA's leasing of taxicab operating permits directly to taxicab companies instead of issuing the permits to drivers.
A group of Chicago taxi and limo operators filed suit against Uber claiming unfair business practices. Yellow Group LLC et al vs Uber Technologies was filed in US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on October 4, 2012.
The Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association released a Rouge App Media Briefer in September 2012 outlining problems with taxi-like services using smartphone apps outside of taxicab regulations. Also in September, the New York City TLC issued an Industry Notice advising that smartphone apps are not approved for use in New York City taxicabs.
New Orleans taxi operators sued to block rule changes and won a partial Preliminary Injunction in August 2012.
In an August 2012 decision by Judge Arthur Engoron, the Supreme Court of New York State ruled against New York City's plan to expand hail cab service to outer boroughs. The ruling was based in part on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's failure to get city council approval for the plan. The lawsuit that led to the decision is Taxicab Service Association vs Bloomberg. The plaintiff is an association of credit union lenders that finance yellow taxi medallions. Update: Judge Engoron's decision was overturned in June 2013 by the New York State Court of Appeals on the grounds that the outer borough taxi plan was not a merely local issue. "Efficient transportation services in the state's largest city and international center of commerce is important to the entire state." The June 2013 ruling opens the door to issuance of 16,000 hail-cab permits in the boroughs and 2,000 wheelchair accessible yellow cab medallions.
A July 2012 Report on Taxicab and Other Vehicles For Hire In Nashville for the City of Nashville, Tennessee recommends "managed competition" for taxicabs. The report was prepared by RPM Transportation Consultants in association with Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, Tennessee Transportation and Logistics Foundation, and Edinburgh Napier University. Among other recommendations, the report urges a cap on lease fees charged to drivers.
Windels Marx has published a new report entitled "Rogue" Smartphone Applications for Taxicabs and Limousines: Innovation or Unfair Competition? The report is a "national regulatory review of safety, accountability and consumer protection legal issues" authored by Matthew W. Daus, a Partner and Chair of the Transportation group, with the assistance of the group's lawyers and staff, including Special Counsel Pasqualino Russo, a former NYC TLC Chief Judge. (June 2012)
The US Court of Appeals decision Christopher Noel versus New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission states that the Americans with Disabilities Act "does not obligate the TLC to use its licensing and regulatory authority over the New York City taxi industry to require that taxi owners provide meaningful access to taxis for persons with disabilities." (June 2012)
Louisiana Senate Bill 639 elevates to first-degree murder the killing of a taxicab driver. The law was signed by the Governor June 7, 2012 and becomes effective August 1, 2012.
Map of taxi depots (service providers) in the country area surrounding Melbourne, Victoria in Australia.
"He's my best friend and he's my hero" said Sheree Kerner of her brother, New Orleans taxicab driver William L. Kerner IV. His death in a May 2011 robbery led to passage of SB 639 which elevated the killing of a taxicab driver to first-degree murder in Louisiana.
In The Driver's Seat: Achieving justice for taxi drivers in Victoria is a June 2012 report that documents the work of the Taxi Driver Legal Clinic, a joint project conducted by the Federation of Community Legal Centres (Victoria, Australia) and Footscray Community Legal Centre. It recommends that the Victorian Government should prohibit the use of bailment agreements in the taxi industry.
A Taxi Industry Inquiry was conducted for the Victorian State Government by Prof. Allan Fels. The draft report, titled Customers First: Service, Safety, Choice, was released May 31, 2012. It provides 600+ pages of background and recommendations for overhaul of taxi regulation.
Reforming the law of taxi and private hire services is the May 2012 summary report by the Law Commission (UK). A key recommendation is to prevent local transportation regulators from limiting the number of taxis in their jurisdictions. More detail can be found in the full report and in the impact assessment.
中国大陆省会城市客运出租汽车数量管制强度分类 - Clustering Taxi Quantity Regulatory Degree of Capital Cities in China is a 2012 paper by Yao Zhigang and Cheng Gao of the School of Economics and Management, Chang'an University, Xi'an China. The authors explore taxi quantity models under different regulation objectives using fuzzy c-means clustering. The study is of most interest to readers with a strong background in math. (Chinese with abstract in English.)
The Taxi Advisory Council of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency issued its Medallion Sales Pilot Program Report for discussion among the Council members on March 23, 2012. The Council is composed of industry representatives including drivers, companies and permit holders.
Preliminary Findings, Taxi Driver Labor Market Study: Long Hours, Low Wages, is a January 2012 report from the City of Portland (Oregon) Revenue Bureau, Office of Management and Finance. The report was prepared at the request of the Mayor in response to a permit application for a driver-owned taxi company. The applicants cited poor economic and working conditions. The report is notable for its methodology, which extends beyond self-reporting of driver earnings.
Germantown Cab Company vs Philadelphia Parking Authority is a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision of January 20, 2012 that constrains the PPA by requiring the agency to follow statutory rulemaking procedures generally applicable to Commonwealth agencies.
Charles Komanoff argues that adding one more taxi is the traffic equivalent of adding 40 more cars to New York City's Central Business District. See his work on 2,000 New Medallion Taxicabs which includes a link to a spreadsheet model. He presented his case in a January 20, 2012 article More taxis mean more traffic.
Reports of special interest from Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates
- Local and State Partnerships with Taxicab Companies (2012) This research was undertaken for the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies to identify how states and local governments can best promote partnerships with taxicab companies for provision of public transportation.
- Santa Monica Taxi Study: Executive Summary, a 2008 report for the City of Santa Monica, California. The study reviewed the city's open-entry taxi system. See also the full report.
Yao Zhi-gang and Ding Xiao-dong use statistical analysis to measure service quality in a large city of Eastern China. Measuring Passenger's Perceptions of Taxi Service Quality with Weighted SERVPERF: a Case of Hangzhou, China was published October 2011 at a conference in Jinan, China.
Abstract: To have a good grasp of passenger's perceptions of taxi service quality, operators and regulators seek a proper method that can reflect passengers' opinions accurately. A weighted SERVPERF model was expressed to assess taxi service quality of Hangzhou City in China. All 22 items can be divided into five dimensions including tangibles, assurance, reliability, responsiveness, and empathy. Importance and performance scales of five dimensions were calculated. Authors found that assurance had highest points and responsiveness had lowest points in performance appraisal, reliability had highest points and empathy had lowest points in importance appraisal. Passenger's characteristics are unrelated with service quality evaluation indicate that there are not strong personalized demands of taxi passenger. Possible management actions are discussed in the context of a regulation environment.
Special Report: Greening Taxis in Latin America
Presentations from the Expert Group Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, May 2011 on Sustainable Urban Transport: Policy Options for Modernizing and Greening Taxi Fleets in Latin American Cities. The meeting generated a wealth of information from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador and Mexico. The presentations also cover a wide range of topics including electric taxis in China, solar-powered bicycle taxis in Germany, motorized rickshaws in India, and greening in California and Korea.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology convened a working group in August 2011 to begin discussions on updates to the NIST Handbook 44 Taximeters Code. The goal is to recognize and incorporate taximeter technology changes including point-of-sale payment systems, GPS enhancements and Mobile data Terminals. The meeting summary notes outline some of the issues.
French v QBE Insurance, decision by the Supreme Court of Queensland awarding substantial damages following the death of a very drunk taxi passenger who was hit by a car after being let out at the wrong address. Extract from the decision: "The very reason that Mr Crouch was in the taxi, the reason that he was in Mr Earea's care, was that he was not capable of looking after his own safety or finding his own way home. Mr Earea must have realised this when he accepted the hiring. Had he turned an objective mind to the question he would have realised that if he delivered Mr Crouch to the wrong address (and not into anyone's care), there was a substantial likelihood that Mr Crouch would wander onto the carriageway and be hit by a vehicle."
Rate of fare as displayed in San Francisco taxicabs, September 2011.
San Antonio Taxi and Horse Drawn Carriage Study by Dr. Ray Mundy, October 2010.
Mile High Cab of Denver was denied its application for 150 new taxi permits. The Colorado PUC decision by ALJ Paul Gomez in July 2010 was appealed, and then sent back to the ALJ. See also the exceptions and appendices by Mile High's attorney Tom Russell.
Saskatoon Taxi Study 2010 report and executive summary in draft form by Dr. Ray Mundy on the website of the City of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Haiti "Cash for Work" Employee Relies on Tap-Tap Taxi -- A local supervisor for "Cash for Work", an initiative launched by the United Nations Development Programme in the aftermath of Haiti's earthquake, relies on a tap-tap, a shared taxi, to take her home from work. Haiti has an almost non-existent public transportation system. Many people depend on the privately-owned tap-taps for transportation even though they are often overloaded, mechanically unsound, and driven unsafely.
Report on Investigation into the Taxi Industry In Queensland by the Queensland Workplace Rights Ombudsman, June 2010. The report recommends numerous changes including a 50-50 split of meter revenues between bailor and bailee, and a separation of dispatch functions from leasing functions. (8MB PDF)
Inquiry into the NSW taxi industry June 2010 by the Select Committee on the NSW Taxi Industry, New South Wales Parliament Legislative Council.
Greater Melbourne Taxi License Release policy and procedures for 530 additional taxi licenses to be issued. See Melborne Taxi Industry Overview, License Information Brochure, Coventional License Application and Accessible License Application.
Driving Austin, Driving Injustice is a February 2010 report on the working conditions of taxi drivers in Austin, Texas. It is published by Legal Assistance to Micro-Enterprises, a project of Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid. The report depends on self-reporting for its findings that the average driver makes $2.75 an hour and works 12 hours a day, 6.5 days a week, 51.5 weeks per year. (3.5MB PDF)
The Taxi Drivers' Guide to Defending Yourself in Austin Traffic Court is a 2010 publication of Legal Assistance to Micro-Enterprises, a project of Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid. (224KB PDF)
Medallion Reforms in San Francisco adopted February 2010 by the Municipal Transportation Agency. The reforms allow for the sale at a fixed price of a limited number of taxicab medallions by the city and by medallion holders who are disabled or who are over 70 years old. (125KB PDF)
Deputy Director of Taxi Services Chris Hayashi (left) and MTA Executive Director Nat Ford (right) look on as seller Mildred Megarity transfers her taxi medallion to buyer Ahmad Sidaoui on August 4, 2010. It was the first sale of a taxi medallion in San Francisco for 33 years. See more photos and a write-up on Ed Healy's blog. Photo courtesy of Ed Healy.
Who Owns Taxi Licences? Exclusive Taxi Licences and Transparency, a report by David Seymour of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Regina, Saskatchewan. September 2009 - 1.5MB PDF
Dispatching Injustice: Cab Drivers' Struggle In Prince George's County (Maryland) is a July 2009 report by the "Advancement Project" in partnership with Prince George's County Taxi Workers Alliance. The report analyzes industry structure and recommends regulatory changes to improve opportunities for taxi drivers.
Trapp v. Big Poppa's LLC et. al., class action complaint in US District Court alleging racketeering violations by Las Vegas nightclubs for paying kickbacks to taxicab and limousine drivers. June 2009 - 1.8mb PDF
An overhaul of taxi regulation in San Francisco commenced in 2009. See the Municipal Transportation Agency's MTA Taxi website for links to documents under review, including a re-write of taxi rules and various proposals to revise the medallion system.
In March, University of Illinois Professor Robert Bruno released a 2008 report titled Driven Into Poverty: A Comprehensive Study of the Chicago Taxicab Industry. The study uses self-reporting by drivers (not taximeter statistics) to determine driver earnings. According to the report, a full-time owner-driver who is paying off a $140,000 medallion earns just 56-cents an hour, including tips, for a total net income of $3,425 a year. Shift-lease drivers working 70-hours a week earn just $4.07 an hour, or less than $12,000 a year before taxes. The report suffers from apparent errors in arithmetic such as the table on page 12. A short version of the report is available as an Executive Summary.
Economic Review of the Small Public Service Vehicle Industry prepared by Goodbody Economic Consultants for the Commission for Taxi Regulation in March 2009. This is a study of the effects of open-entry deregulation in Ireland between 2000 and 2008. The number of taxis in Dublin rose from 2,759 to 12,568 (an increase of 355%) while the number of taxi rides increased by just 82%. The Goodbody Review was rejected by transport regulators and precipitated a national work stoppage by taxi operators. In May 2009, LHM Casey McGrath (a firm of Chartered Certified Accountants) prepared a Critical Evaluation and Review of the Goodbody study.
The Case For Taxi Deregulation by David Seymour of the Frontier Centre (Regina, Saskatchewan) February 2009.
Winnipeg Taxi Study and recommendations by Dr. Ray Mundy, February 2009. The study was contracted by the Manitoba Taxicab Board. See also the appendices to the report. The emphasis is on increasing the role of "full-service" taxicab companies.
Seatbelt reminder from the City of Auburn in New South Wales
Contract for Taxi Administration Services, sample of a performance/service contract between the Queensland Department of Transport and each of about 20 taxi companies, October 2008. (247kb PDF)
The Taxi Industry In the Denver Metropolitan Area, report prepared by the staff of the Colorado Public Utilities Commsion, March 18, 2008. (1.4mb PDF)
September report by engineer C. Bruce Gambardella, Comparative Analysis of Occupant Protection and Overall Passenger and Driver Safety... comparing long-wheelbase Crown Victoria and Escape hybrid taxicabs in NYC. In October, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction blocking NYC from requiring owners and operators of yellow taxicabs to switch to hybrid vehicles.
Flyer by United Taxicab Drivers Corp. urging Nevada taxicab drivers to demand enforcement of the minimum wage requirement.
Crime Prevention Recommendations For Cab Company Owners, Drivers and Dispatchers from the St. Petersburg (Florida) Police Department, August 2008. (380kb PDF)
Summary judgement regarding disabled medallion holders in US District Court, June 2008, affirming the City of San Francisco's policy that driving as an Essential Eligibility Requirement does not violate a disabled medallion holder's rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The decision was appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circut. Documents relating to the case may be found on the website of the Medallion Holders Association.
Cabdrivers vs City of Chicago, April 2008 Petition for Injunctive Relief regarding high fuel costs and a temporary surcharge on fares. (51KB Word document)
Taxi '07: Roads Forward, a comprehensive 150-page vision for New York City taxis in the next decade. This beautifully illustrated book in PDF format is another outstanding taxi publication from the Design Trust for Public Space produced in conjunction with the Taxicab and Limousine Commission. Highly recommended.
Toronto Taxi Drivers: Ambassadors of the City, A Report on Working Conditions by Sara Abraham, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, and Aparna Sundar, Assistant Professor at Ryerson University, with Dale Whitmore, student at York University. The report drew attention for its determination that shift drivers earn less than three dollars an hour.
January 2008 US Court of Appeals decision in NLRB vs Friendly Cab determining that drivers at an Oakland (California) taxi company are employees for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act. (111KB pdf)
Rural Development Programme Beneficiary -- A taxi entrepreneur and beneficiary of the Grameen Bank project for poverty eradication through micro credit lending, waits for a fare.
The New South Wales (Australia) Ministry of Transport created the Taxi Industry Safety and Security Taskforce which issued its Final Report in December 2007. See also the appended Taxi Driver Security Survey that was conducted as part of the Taskforce's work. An earlier Interim Report was issued in July 2007.
Guidelines for the Installation and Use of Security Cameras in Queensland Taxis, August 2007 report by Queensland Transport
The European OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) conducted a 2007 Policy Roundtable on Taxi Services: Competition and Regulation. The report recommends open entry based on economic arguments and on the experiences of some places that adopted open entry policies. (1.8MB pdf)
Illegal limousines soliciting passengers at San Francisco International Airport and at Fisherman's Wharf, videos that originally aired on KRON's "People Behaving Badly" series by reporter Stanley Roberts.
An Overview of the San Francisco Taxi Industry and Proposition K prepared November 2007 by Heidi Machen and Jordanna Thigpen for the Taxi Commission's working group on Charter Reform. (2MB pdf)
Guide to the Nova Scotia Violence in the Workplace Regulations for the Taxi Industry, draft produced by the Occupational Health And Safety Division, July 2007.
July 2007 submission on the New South Wales draft Passenger Transport Regulations by the Australian Taxi Drivers Association. (1MB pdf)
The "Knowledge of London" Examination System, a guide for applicants published by the Public Carriage Office, April 2007. (212KB pdf)
Reports of special interest from Schaller Consulting in NYC
These and others are available courtesy of Bruce Schaller at Taxi and Livery Papers and Reports
- Entry Controls in Taxi Regulation: Policy Implications of U.S. and Canadian Experience (September 2006)
- New York City 2006 Taxi and Livery Fact Books
- The Taxi Vehicle in the Ideal Taxi System (2005)
- Passenger and Driver Focus Group Reports on TLC Technology Enhancements (2005)
- The Changing Face of Taxi and Limousine Drivers in the U.S., Large States and Metro Areas and New York City (2004)
- Taxi and Livery Crashes in New York City, 2004
- Higher Pay, Safer Cabbies, 2004 report
San Francisco City Hall
As in most places, SF taxis are regulated by city government.
A flyer by United Taxicab Drivers Corp. urging Nevada taxicab drivers to demand enforcement of a minimum wage requirement.
MasterCard And VeriFone Put PayPass in Philadelphia Taxis, article in Digital Transactions
The Job-creating Potential of the Metered Taxi Industry in South Africas Urban Areas: Some Preliminary Findings by Sandra Lowitt, Research Associate, Employment Growth and Development Initiative, Human Sciences Research Council. (426KB pdf)
Driving Poor: Taxi Drivers and the Regulation of the Taxi Industry in Los Angeles by Professors Gary Blasi and Jacqueline Leavitt of UCLA. (460kb PDF)
Entry Controls in Taxi Regulation: Policy Implications of U.S. and Canadian Experience, from Schaller Consulting September 2006
Taxicab Industry Report on rates of fare, gate fees and business conditions by the San Francisco Controller, August 2006. (309KB pdf document) Recommends increases based on cost of living, fuel costs and paratransit funding. Unless changed by the Board of Supervisors by certain deadlines, the increases would automatically become law on November 1, 2006.
The San Francisco Taxicab Industry: An Equity Analysis, June 2006 report prepared for SF Mayor Gavin Newsom and SF Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, from The Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. The Executive Summary to the 45-page report states in part: "We believe a system permitting the sale of medallions (transferability) would provide a more equitable and improved taxicab industry if implemented within specific structural parameters." (477kb PDF document).
Establishing a San Francisco Taxi Driver Health Care Coverage Program: Administration, Cost, and Funding Options. March 2006 report from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, 110 pages, 726KB pdf, complete with detailed actuarial analysis. An existing city-sponsored San Francisco Health Plan is proposed as the administrator. Drivers would pay $80 a month plus modest co-pays for services. The report examines funding options for the rest of the estimated $9-16 million annual cost.
Taxi Fact Book for 2006, New York City reference by Bruce Schaller
The State of the NYC Taxi, March 2006 overview by a TLC Commissioner. This nicely illustrated report gives the numbers and ages of the various model vehicles used as medallion cabs, their inspection pass-or-fail rates, and information on hybrid and accessible vehicles. NYC now has over 80 livery and medallion cabs that are hybrid vehicles. (1.24MB pdf document)
Taxi Commission Survey Report - February 8, 2006, summary report of the results of the San Francisco Taxi Commission Survey conducted by the Controller's Office in October/November 2005. (140 KB)
Policy on drug testing by New York City TLC, February 2006 (145KB Word document).
Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Taxi Deregulation?, January 2006 article in Econ Journal Watch reviews "the judgements of economists who have written substantively on taxi regulation." (360kb PDF document).
This attention-getting poster, issued by the South Somerset District Council, is part of a public safety campaign in England to warn cab users about the dangers of riding in unlicensed cabs during the 2006 holiday season. The national campaign is dubbed Taxiwise. The Mayor of London is leading the Cabwise program which facilitates getting a legal taxi or minicab with the help of text messaging. The Taxiwise and Cabwise programs are endorsed by celebrities and are receiving a high level of press attention throughout the UK.
Taxis Hailed as Black Hole for Lost Cell Phones and PDAs, report on study sponsored by Pointsec Mobile Technologies
Taxicab Industry Report with Addendum - December 2005, review of the San Francisco taxicab industry with recommendations on taxicab rates of fare and gate fees. (140 KB)
8 Keys to Keeping Taxi Issues From Becoming a Political Hot Potato by Bruce Schaller, originally published in Taxi, Livery and Paratransit Association Taxicab newsletter, August 2005.
The Taxi Vehicle in the Ideal Taxi System by Bruce Schaller
Effectiveness of Controls Over the Taxi Industry, June 2005 report by the New Zealand Controller and Auditor-General. The 136-page report is critical of enforcement by regulators under an open entry policy that began about 15 years ago, and especially since 1997 when a similarly critical report was issued. A special concern is keeping unfit people out of the business. Deregulation in New Zealand led to approximately a tripling in the number of cabs and a ten-fold increase in the number of drivers. The report includes 61 recommendations for tightening control over the industry. (2.9MB pdf document)
Salt Lake City Draft Taxicab Study prepared by Dr. Ray Mundy for the Salt Lake City Council. Includes a comparison of the regulatory schemes used in various US cities.
Birmingham UK public safety campaign
"To Insure Prejudice: Racial Disparities in Taxicab Tipping," article by Ian Ayres, Fredrick E. Vars and Nasser Zakariya in the Yale Law Journal, Vol. 114, 2005. Download the paper for free from Social Science Research Network. The study analysed data on more than 1000 tips to taxicab drivers in New Haven, Connecticut in 2001 and found significant differences based on the race of both driver and passenger.
"Local Exclusive Cruising Regulation and Efficiency in Taxicab Markets" by Daniel Flores-Guri in the Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, May 2005. "This paper shows that substituting metropolitan regulations for municipal ones can benefit consumers without hurting producers. The theoretical results are applied to the taxicab market in the adjacent cities of Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts." Available for sale, or read the abstract only
The World Bank, Washington, DC published Regulation of Taxi Markets in Developing Countries: Issues and Options, a February 2005 paper by Kenneth M. Gwilliam which examines the reasons why fares tend to rise when taxi markets are deregulated.
Toronto Taxi Alliance Inc. v. Toronto (City), February 2005 decision overturning bylaws that would have shifted ownership of taxi licenses away from corporations and toward owner-drivers. See the 1998 section below for the Report to Review the Toronto Taxi Industry that is referenced in this decision.
A Regresssion Model of the Number of Taxicabs in U.S. Cities by Bruce Shaller "identifies three primary demand factors: the number of workers commuting by subway, the number of households with no vehicles available, and the number of airport taxi trips." January 2005 report, 204kb PDF document.
Passenger and Driver Focus Group Reports on TLC Technology Enhancements by Bruce Scaller 2005
Sheriff's Citizen's Medal awarded posthumously to Tuscon, Arizona taxicab driver Dawud Isa Abusida who gave his life when he stopped to aid an officer in trouble on August 10, 2005.
Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, December 2004 decision in Ball vs Silver Top Taxi, a discrimination suit regarding disabled passengers.
Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, May 2004 decision in Sailor vs Village Taxi Cabs Pty Ltd and Markwick, a racial discrimination suit.
"Occupational and personal factors associated with acquired lumbar spondylolisthesis of urban taxi drivers" by J-C Chen1, W P Chan, J N Katz, W P Chang and D C Christiani. Article in Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2004;61:992-998. Read online or download as a 120kb PDF from OEM Online.
Competition Bureau charges St. John's taxi companies with conspiracy, Ottawa, July 9, 2004
Taxi and Limousine Development, discussion paper and feedback analysis on regulations. Prepared by the Queensland Government (Australia) with an eye to National Competition Policy obligations. It is expected that legislation developed in response to this report will be introduced into Parliament in 2006.
Taxicab Board of Manitoba report Cameras Effective in Reducing Taxicab Crime, presented to the 17th Annual Conference of the International Association of Transportation Regulators by Lou Harries, Chair of the Manitoba Taxicab Board and by Jerry Kozubal, Secretary of the Taxicab Board (55kb Word document). See also Official Notices regarding mandatory installation of both cameras and partitions in all taxicabs on the website of the Manitoba Taxicab Board.
Regulating Supply in Taxi Markets, a dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the MSc in Economic Regulation and Competition, by Dr Benedikt Koehler, City University (London) September 2004. The dissertation is a large (625Kb) PDF document that may take a few minutes to download. See also the brief abstract and a spreadsheet that models supply, and the author's notes on using the spreadsheet.
California Assembly Bill, AB 2591, regulating limousines, adopted September 2004; intended to curb abuses whereby state-regulated limousines operate as de facto taxicabs.
Issues paper Pertaining to Taxi Regulation in Northern Ireland, prepared for the Combined Group of Belfast Taxi Proprietors Associations, October 2004 by James M Cooper, Taxi Studies Consultant (208kb PDF)
Taxi Market Regulation: Industry employment and the identification of data toward informed policy decisions. 2004 report prepared for SCOTECON by the Taxi Studies Group of Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland (548kb PDF format)
Interim report, Taxi Industry Inquiry, prepared 2004 by the New South Wales (Australia) Department of Transport (325kb Word document); includes an assessment of the controversial "no destinations" policy that prohibited dispatch operations from revealing to drivers where prospective customers are going. See also the NSW Ministry of Transport.
Wheelchair Accessible Taxi Taskforce, September 2004 Interim Brief to the New South Wales Minister for Transport Services (166k PDF)
Taxi Driver Survey Summary Findings - April 2004, descriptive statistics of San Francisco's taxi driver population that can be used by policy makers and other interested parties. (6.5 MB) About a dozen other reports from the now-dissolved San Francisco Taxicab Commission can be found at the SFMTA's Taxicab Commission archive.
NLRB decision 342-130, 2004 resolution of a dispute between NYC taxi fleet owners and SEIU Local 74 (123k PDF)
"Can you get there from here?: How the Law Still Threatens King's Dream" article in Law and Equality, Vol. 22, 2004 discusses taxicab regulations as a powerful tool in the hands of segregationists. Also available at SSRN (24kb PDF)
The Changing Face of Taxi and Limousine Drivers in the U.S., Large States and Metro Areas and New York City by Schaller Consulting 2004
Taxi and Livery Crashes in New York City, 2004 from Schaller Consulting
Higher Pay, Safer Cabbies, An Analysis of the Relationship Between Driver Incomes and Taxi Crashes in New York City, from Schaller Consulting, January 2004 (92k PDF)
Unfare: Taxi Drivers and the Cost of Moving the City is a September 2003 report by the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center prepared for the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. The report uses self-reporting as the basis for its finding that drivers' average take-home pay is $22.14 per day.
Predicting health outcomes and safety behaviour in taxi drivers, 2003 paper by M. Anthony Machin and Jillian M. D. De Souza at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia. From the abstract: "This research projects integrates the various factors that influence the safety behaviour, physical health and emotional well-being of taxi drivers into a theoretical model that shows hazards, perceptions of risk-taking, aggression, and drivers' perceptions of management's commitment to health and safety as directly influencing physical health, emotional well-being, and safety behaviour of taxi drivers." (285kb PDF)
San Francisco Taxi Drivers Health Benefits Report - October 2003 prepared in response to Ordinance Number 228-02, which requires the Controller to submit a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors by October 1, 2003 for enactment of a program that would make health insurance or health benefits available to all taxi drivers. (816 KB)
Taxicab Industry Long-Term Lease Report - October 2003, Controller's report to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors regarding long-term lease fee caps. (1.8 MB)
Evaluation of Taxi Sector Reform: a Real Options Approach is a math-heavy economics paper that "applies the real options methodology to estimate the impact of the restructuring measures in the taxi sector in Barcelona in 1995." (400kb PDF)
The regulation of licensed taxi and PHV services in the UK, link to the Taxi Studies page of the UK Office of Fair Trade with its November 2003 report and appendices
California Employment Development Department Information Sheet for the taxicab industry describes the factors used in determining driver status as employee or independent contractor; three-page document revised July 2003 and based on the 1991 "Santa Cruz" decision (44k PDF)
Review of Fares for Taxis in New South Wales, August 31, 2003 IPART Report to the NSW Minister For Transport Services (312k PDF)
Recommendations for Measuring Taxi Availability for PCN Determination, July 2003 report to the San Francisco Taxi Commission by Bruce Schaller (383k PDF)
Transformation of Public Transport operations from informal to formal services : An Examination of initiatives by the Western Cape Provincial Department of Transport to transform the minibus-taxi industry by Y. Ahmed, Department of Transport and Public Works, Western Cape, Republic of South Africa (5.35MB pdf)
Provincial Vision for Public Transport and Five-year Strategic Delivery Programme by the Provincial Administration of the Western Cape, Department of Transport and Public Works (4.5MB pdf)
Minibus taxis are a key part of the South African transport system..
Taxi Regulation in Japan by David Flath of the Kyoto Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University, June 2002 (63Kb PDF document)
San Francisco Permit Holders versus Taxi Commission, July 2002 California Appellate Court decision affirming the legality of a driving requirement for some medallion holders, with possible exceptions (40k PDF)
"City of Oshawa Taxi Industry Study" by Bruzzese Minshull Associates, April 2002 (archived 1.2mb PDF file available on request)
Oshawa Taxi Industry Reforms Report, Oshawa, ON, Canada, Nov 2002
Taxicab Industry in Bermuda - Feb/Mar 2002, by Bryant Trew, journalist for the Bermuda Sun.
US Court of Appeals Opinion of January 2002 in Baily and Dunn vs. Gulf Coast Transportation, regarding Florida taxi drivers who were fired after they sued for minimum wage
Moratorium Decision on Taxi Applications in the Lower Mainland, British Columbia May 2002 (10k PDF)
February 2002 study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association on the effectiveness of workplace homicide prevention measures and advice to regulators on mandated preventive strategies
Taxicab Deregulation and Reregulation in Seattle: Lessons Learned, September 2001 report by Craig Leisy for IATR. (264kb PDF document)
Taxi-Cabs Security Camera Standards and Procedures, 2001 by the Victorian Taxi Directorate, Australia. (554KB Word document)
Taxi-Cabs Security Camera Specifications, 2001 by the Victorian Taxi Directorate, Australia. (48KB Word document)
Report on Taxi Supply in the Lower Mainland, British Columbia December 2001 Notice to Industry regarding the Taxi Supply Study (13k PDF)
An Examination of the Taxi Supply in the Lower Mainland prepared for The Motor Carrier Commission of British Columbia, October 2001 (227k PDF)
Making Taxi Service Work in San Francisco, prepared for SPUR by Adam Millard-Ball of Nelson\Nygaard Consulting, November 2001, full report (264k PDF)
Surdell-Kennedy Taxi Ltd. et al. v. City of Surrey, a September 2001 Canadian court decision regarding regulatory authority to conduct licence auctions, and right of personal property, very interesting.
An Analysis of the Demand for Taxicabs in The Pittsburgh Area, 11-page report published by the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy and authored by Frank Gamrat, Ph.D., March 2001 (771kb PDF)
Review of Taxi Driver Remuneration and Conditions of Work by the Queensland Department of Industrial Relations and Queensland Transport, August 2001 (681KB Word document)
During the 1930s fierce competition drove down prices and resulted in flat rate fares like this one -- 25 cents to anyplace in Regina, Saskatchewan
The European OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Working Party No. 2 on Competition and Regulation prepared a report on Regulation and Competition Issues in Road Transport. There is an interesting discussion of the open entry experiments in Seattle (1979) and Indianapolis (1994). (83KB pdf)
Western Australia Taxi Driver Competency Standards, an exhaustive review of training for drivers (172KB pdf)
Regulated Conduct Defence applies to issuance of taxi licenses - allegations of conspiracy unsubstantiated; The Competition Bureau, Ottawa, May 2, 2000
High Court Judgement In Appeal of Government Issue of Taxi Licences, High Court, Dublin, Ireland in October 2000
Inquest into the Death of Anne Woloshen, Prepared for the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities, September, 2000
Madison's Current and Proposed Taxi Regulation: Bad Public Policy and an Open Invitation to Litigation, by Peter Carstensen, Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School September 2000
National Competition Policy Review of Transportation Act, for the State of Queensland, Australia, September 2000 (Discussion Paper in .PDF format 630k)
Improving Our Taxis, a discussion paper by the National Competition Council, Australia, May 2000
Taxi Industry Reform, Report for the New City of Ottawa Transition Board by the Taxi Project Team, and associated material
Proposition M of 2000, unsuccessful initiative measure seeking to amend the San Francisco Administrative Code
Bill HB1068, an Act Concerning Deregulation of Certain Passenger Transportation, State of Colorado, February 2000
Bill 5 - Kentucky Legislature, An act relating to the transportation of persons for hire, January 2000
Petition for Review, Barbara Kabrick, filed with State of Washington, Office of Administrative Hearings, for the Employment Security Department 2000
MisClassification of Taxi Drivers, by Burton H. Wolfe, Jan 2000 letter to the editor of the Dallas Observer on the leasing of taxicabs to independent contractors
Burton Wolfe vs. Employment Law Center et. al., Declaration of Plaintiff in Superior Court, June 2000
Six people died in this 1999 wreck which was caused by an unlicensed taxi driver in Compton, California.
Issue Analysis, Taxi! Reinvigorating Competition in the Taxi Market by Jason Soon, published by the Center for Independent Studies, New South Wales, Australia (173Kb PDF document)
Review of the Taxi Cab and Hire Car Industries, November 1999 Report of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) of New South Wales (archived 782k PDF is available on request)
The Emancipation of the Taxi Industry in Oshawa, August 1999, by a group of taxi drivers in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Anti-Jitney Laws Take People for a Ride, by By Lawrence W. Reed, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, November 1999
Consultation Paper on Smoking in Taxis, by (federal) Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, UK, October 1999
Review of the Taxi Cab and Hire Car Industries, by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), August 1999 by Dr Tom Parry, New South Wales, Australia
A Study of the Taxi Industry in British Columbia, by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Highways, dated June 1999 (PDF - 256k)
Colorado Taxi Companies Unfairly Protected by Special Laws, The Gazette, Colorado Springs, CO, USA, July 30, 1999
The Independent Contractor Racket, Op-Ed by Burton H. Wolfe, August 1999 in the Washington Free Press, Seattle
Making Cabbies Truly Independent, December 1999 Letter to the Editor by Guy Evans, responding to Burton Wolfe in the Washington Free Press, Seattle
Taxi Licence Controls Harm The Commuter by Dr Garret FitzGerald (former Prime Minister of Ireland), Irish Times, 10 January 1998
Public Transport and Taxis in Dublin, report prepared for the National Taxi Driver's Union and the Irish Taxi Driver Federation by Brendan Lynch, Economic Consultant 1998
Solving Dublin Taxi Problems: Urban-Sharecroppers v Rentseekers, by Dublin Competition Authority, November 1998
Review of Taxi and Hackney Carriage Service in the Dublin Area, Executive Summary/Summary of Recommendations, by Oscar Faber in association with Goodbody Economic Consultants and Irish Marketing Surveys, 1998
Green Light For Change, by Dublin Area Taxi Association (1998?)
Taxi Deregulation: International Comparison, by Choong-Ho Kang, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, August 1998
Indianapolis' Road to Regulatory Reform by Adrian Moore, director of economic studies at the Reason Public Policy Institute, 1998 (64k PDF)
The Indianapolis Experience Deregulation of its Taxicab Industry
The Cleveland Taxi Market, by Jeff Narten, March 1998, an Exit Project in partial fulfillment for the degree of Master of Science in Urban Studies
Curb Rights, a book review By Lawrence W. Reed, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, June 1998
The Taxi as Transit Mode, The City of Rimouski Demonstration with the Taxibus, by Michel Trudel, Province of Quebec, Canada, November 1998
How Cities Put the Brakes on Taxicabs, by Sam Staley, PhD, Reason Public Policy Institute, September 1998
Report to Review the Toronto Taxi Industry, October 1998
Public Convenience and Necessity Report - San Francisco 1998, by Police Commission, City and County of San Francisco.
The Leasing of Taxi Licences, a February 1998 working paper by Dr. Ian Radbone, Transport Systems Centre, University of South Australia; executive summary and a link to the full paper.
Providing a taxi service for people with disabilities, a research paper by Dr. Ian Radbone, Deputy Director of the Transport Systems Centre, University of South Australia, September 1998.
Final Report of the Mayor's Taxi Task Force, for San Francisco, April 1998
Are Exclusive Taxi Stands Good or Bad? by Gary MacDonald, 1998
Before and After Deregulation, 10 years of Sweden's experience, as at February 1998, by Pepe Arninge.
Taxicab Licensing and Economic Opportunity in Madison: A Preliminary Analysis, by Sam Staley, PhD, Reason Public Policy Institute, March 1998
An Economic Analysis of Taxicab Regulation in Portland, O regon, by the Cascade Policy Institute 1998
Eurig vs Ontario, an important Supreme Court of Canada decision relative to the principle in common law that a fee must bear a reasonable relationship to its companion true administrative costs. Very applicable to the regulatory environment in which the taxi industry must operate, 1998
Procedural Order, by West Virginia Public Service Commission regarding investigation into the matter of continuing taxicab lease arrangements, 1998.
A Licence To Print Money, an investigation into Toronto's taxicab leasing problems, 1998.
How The Taxi Industry Was Junked, by Burton H. Wolfe part 1 of a 1998 series on the leasing of taxicabs to independent contractors
San Francisco's Own Lawsuit Sellout, by Burton H. Wolfe, part 2 of a 1998 series on the leasing of taxicabs to independent contractors
Customer Survey Data as supplied by Taxi Industry Board of Advisors, Nashville, Tennessee, Nov/Dec 1998
Taxi fares are a favorite subject of economics research because taxis are the classic example of a regulated industry.
Taxi Services In Dublin: A new approach by Chamber of Commerce, Dublin, Ireland, 16 December 1997
Review of Taxi and Hackney Carriage Service in Dublin, Ireland (Summary Only) by Oscar Faber, In association with Goodbody Economic Consultants and Irish Marketing Surveys, December 1997
The Dublin Taxi Market: Re-regulate or Stay Queuing? Contributed by Dr. John Fingleton, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 9 December 1997
Putting Customers First, Reforming Toronto's Taxicab Industry, by Consumer Policy Institute, April 1997
Taken For a $1 Billion Taxi Ride a call for deregulation of Toronto's Taxicab Industry, by Terence Corcoran, April 1997
Summary of Calls for Deregulation by 'Think Tanks by Terry Smythe 1997
Taxicab Deregulation: Futility or Blessing? by Terry Smythe, May 1997
Seattle Taxicab Regulation effective 1 January 1997
Obstacles and Opportunities of Introducing an Enhanced Training Program,, Final Report as submitted to Board of the Trade of Metropolitan Toronto Tourism Committee, February, 1997 by The Board of Trade for Metro Toronto
London Conditions of Fitness with amendments to 1997, by London (England) Public Carriage Office, a Division of the London Metropolitan Police Service.
Application for a Fare Increase, Winnipeg's Taxicab Industry, Spring 1997
Dayton's Taxicab Industry, a series of 6 articles by Martin Gottleib, June 1997
Regulation and the Urban Marketplace by Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, Indianapolis, January 1997
Baltimore: No Harbor For Entrepreneurs by Institute For Justice, April 1997
Taxi Deregulation Would Benefit Public, by Peter Holle, 19 May 1997
Nevada Taxicab Regulation/Deregulation 1997 article
Open the Door To Portland's Taxi Entrepreneurs 1997 article on a report by the Institute for Justice 1996
Regulating Electronic Money in Small-Value Payment Systems: Telecommunications Law as a Regulatory Model,By Randall W. Sifers, appeared in the Federal Communications Law Journal, April 1997.
Lynch vs Police Commissioner - Boston. Police refusal to issue taxi medallions; ongoing court proceedings, July 1997.
A Taxi Driver is not an Employee Federal Court of Australia, August 1997
Employee vs. Independent Contractor - LawResearch Newsletter September 1997
Flag atop a Tokyo taxi indicates to prospective customers that a discount rate of fare is in effect
San Francisco Superior Court decision in Joseph Tracy et al. vs. Yellow Cab Cooperative et al. requiring defendant cab companies to return security deposits to drivers, and permanently enjoining companies from challenging driver claims for Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Insurance benefits on the basis of independant contractor status. (3.15MB pdf)
Fare Game, Fare Cop Victimization of, and Policing by, Taxi Drivers in Three Canadian Cities, by Dr. Philip Stenning. The document, 116 pages in Word format (476KB), is also available as a 1 megabyte PDF file.
White Paper on National Transport Policy from the Department of Transport, Pretoria, South Africa (364KB pdf)
"Technical Efficiency and Ownership: The Case of Booking Centres in the Swedish Taxi Market" in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, January 1996, Vol. 30, No. 1, Page 83. J. Mansson. "The study examines competition between privately and publicly owned booking centres in the Swedish taxi market by studying technical efficiency, and breaking down technical efficiency into managerial and organisational efficiency. The main results are that a large amount of technical efficiency exists and that no direct relationship between technical efficiency and type of ownership can be found." Note that this document is available from the JTEP index and summary page of free articles through 1996. Many of the articles published in the journal are of special interest to readers with a strong background in math. The documents are available from the summary page in pdf format.
Thomas Report on Taxicab Leasing in Toronto by Dorothy Thomas and Dan Shimski, October 1996
Discussion Paper - Taxicab Leasing Toronto Metropolitan Licencing Commission, 8 July 1996
Review of Paul Dempsey's 1996 article Taxi Industry Regulation, Deregulation & Reregulation: The Paradox of Market Failure
Taxicab Regulation in Ohio's Largest Cities by Buckeye Institute
Abolish the Taxi Medallion System by Irwin Stelzer, American Enterprise Institute 1996
Illegal Taxi Service? by Cascade Policy Institute, September 1996
Opening Boston's Taxicab Market by Institute for Justice (1996)
Newsletter #1 by Dutch TaskForce Against Taxi Deregulation 1996 (in Dutch language)
Campaign poster urging a No vote on San Francisco ballot measure Proposition J. The measure was rejected by voters.
Proposition J by San Francisco Taxi Association, August 1996 for 5 November 1996 civic vote
Jitney Service 1996 editorial by Adrian Moore
Canada Federal Bill C-317 an Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (small supplier carrying on a taxi business) 1996
Seattle Taxi Regulation Report by Sandi Avants, Gorman Gilbert, and Barbara Lupro 1996
Evaluation of Accessible Taxicab Standards by Paul Murphy, September 1996
Taxi Industry (Contract Drivers) Contract Determination by Government of New South Wales, Australia 1996
Nashville Taxi/Wrecker Regulatory Structure February 1996, by Institute for Transportation Research and Education, North Caolina State University.
Cabbies Pan Proposal to Open Cab Market by Dan Wheeler, Hartford, Connecticut 1996
Metering Opportunity By Sam Smith, Washington, DC 1996
Darrar vs Bourke and Wyatt - Wyoming, Police fail to advise taxi driver that passenger was a known rapist, January 1996
Transporting Persons With Disabilities by Oakville (Ontario) Licencing Section 1996
The Future of Transportation by Taxi, by Michel Trudel, Paper given at the first European conference of the International Association of Transportation Regulators Strasbourg, France in October 1996
A for-hire vehicle demonstration in Lima, Peru.
"Deregulating Taxi Services: A Word of Caution" in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, May 1995, Vol. 29, No. 2, Page 195, by J. Hackner S. Nyberg. "This paper studies pricing and capacity decisions in markets for phone-ordered taxicabs. Firms first choose capacities and then compete in prices. As firm demand increases, so does waiting time. This dampens competition and makes prices too high from the social point of view. Efficiency improves if firms choose large capacities. In a two-firm setting, equilibrium capacities are shown to be larger if both firms maximise total profits than if they maximise profits per cab." Note that this document is available from the JTEP index and summary page of free articles through 1996. Many of the articles published in the journal are of special interest to readers with a strong background in math. The documents are available from the summary page in pdf format.
Review by Terry Smythe of Opening Boston's Taxicab Market, 1995 report from Institute for Justice
Taxicab Deregulation in Holland by Ministry of Transport 1995
The Issue of "Goodwill" in Licence Transfers - Australia, 1995
Section 32 of the UK Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and its companion discussion paper issued under the authority of the DDA95 relative to proposed regulations and specifications for accessible taxicabs in the whole of the UK by the year 2012. This is a key document regarding the change to a fully-accesible taxi fleet in London, now a reality.
1995 Regulations to the Transport Operations Act, Queensland, Australia (PDF)
Credit Cards & Taxi Fares - Australia, 1995
Fundamentals of Taxi Regulation by Michel Trudel, February 1995
Parody of a taxi tycoon displayed at a 1995 political event in support of driver-sponsored Proposition I, which was rejected by San Francisco voters.
1994 and earlier documents
It's not the same America, The underground economy; Economic self-sufficiency, Inc. Magazine, May 1994, by Welles, Edward O.
1994 Regulations to the Transport Operations Act, Queensland, Australia (PDF)
Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994 , Queensland, Australia (PDF)
Challenging Denver's Taxicab Monopoly by Institute for Justice (1994)
"Analysis of Taxicab Deregulation and Re-Regulation" - This 1993 Price Waterhouse study concludes that, "The effects of taxi deregulation have ranged from benign to adverse. This is a departure from the experience with deregulation in other industries, and is influenced by taxi market imperfections which reduce or remove incentives for price and service quality competition. Consequently, most cities which had fully deregulated taxi service have since reverted to some form of control over market entry." The paper is available for sale through the publications page of the TLPA website.
An Optimal Regulatory Framework for The Taxicab Industry by Lok Sang Ho, Department of Economics and Centre for Environmental Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, March 1993 (118Kb PDF document)
Regulation in the taxi industry, 1992 paper from the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds by Dr. J.P. Toner; abstract and link to the full text.
Taxis: an Omnipresent Resource for Transporting People with Reduced Mobility, By Michel Trudel, Departmental taxi coordinator, Ministère des Transports du Québec, Canada, 1992
A Taxicab Business Licence in Ontario Bankruptcy Court, February 1992
Taxicab Regulatory Fees by Terry Smythe 1990
Winnipeg Taxicab Service & Regulation by Manitoba Taxicab Board March 1990 [289k]
Grey Markets and Greased Pigs by John Hood 1989 for the Foundation for Economic Education
Equitable Taxicab Quota DeRegulation, A Conceptual Framework (Anonymous) 1989
"The Impact of Taxicab Deregulation in the USA" in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, January 1987, Vol. 21, No. 1, Page 37, by R.F. Teal M. Berglund. "Deregulation of taxicabs in several US cities has not produced the expected benefits. The authors analyse the reasons for this failure, and make suggestions for future policy." Note that this document is available from the JTEP index and summary page of free articles through 1996. Many of the articles published in the journal are of special interest to readers with a strong background in math. The documents are available from the summary page in pdf format.
The Economics of Taxicab Deregulation, 1985 policy paper by The Heartland Institute of Chicago; summary and link to the full text.
An Economic Analysis of Taxicab Regulation, 1984 Bureau of Economics Staff Report by Mark Frankena and Paul Pautler, US Federal Trade Commission; argues in favor of open-entry deregulation. (8.9MB PDF)
Taxicab Regulation in US Cities, Volume II: Case Studies, 1983 report by L. Carol Shaw, German Gilbert, Christine Bishop and Evelyn Pruitt prepared for U.S. Urban Mass Transportation Administration; summary and link to the full report.
"Economies of Scale in the Taxicab Industry. Some Empirical Evidence from the United States" in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, September 1983, Vol. 17, No. 3, Page 299, by A.M. Pagano C.E. McKnight. "There are economies of scale for very small taxicab firms, but over 75,000 trips per year average costs increase, so the curve is U-shaped." Note that this document is available from the JTEP index and summary page of free articles through 1996. Many of the articles published in the journal are of special interest to readers with a strong background in math. The documents are available from the summary page in pdf format.
"Labour Costs and Taxi Supply in Melbourne" in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, May 1981, Vol. 15, No. 2, Page 179, by D.J. Williams. "The non-progressive taxicab industry survives and may be able to expand because there has been a relative decline in the quality and the real wages of drivers and in the prices of new motor vehicles. Further research is suggested." Note that this document is available from the JTEP index and summary page of free articles through 1996. Many of the articles published in the journal are of special interest to readers with a strong background in math. The documents are available from the summary page in pdf format.
"The Economic Reasons for Price and Entry Regulation of Taxicabs: A Rejoinder" in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, January 1981, Vol. 15, No. 1, Page 81, by C. Shreiber. "Professor Shreiber, author of the article and later rejoinder published in this Journal in September 1975 and September 1977, replies to the comment by David J. Williams which appeared in January 1980." Note that this document is available from the JTEP index and summary page of free articles through 1996. Many of the articles published in the journal are of special interest to readers with a strong background in math. The documents are available from the summary page in pdf format.
"The Economic Reasons for Price and Entry Regulation of Taxicabs. A Comment" in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, January 1980, Vol. 14, No. 1, Page 105, by D.J. Williams. "A comment on the article and later rejoinder by Professor Shreiber, published in this Journal in September 1975 and September 1977." Note that this document is available from the JTEP index and summary page of free articles through 1996. Many of the articles published in the journal are of special interest to readers with a strong background in math. The documents are available from the summary page in pdf format.
"Competition and Supply in London Taxis" in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, January 1979, Vol. 13, No. 1, Page 102, by M.E. Beesley. "The numbers of London taxis and of licensed drivers have increased in recent years. Drivers are probably attracted by the variety of contracts available. But more information is needed on this and on the competitive hire car trade." Note that this document is available from the JTEP index and summary page of free articles through 1996. Many of the articles published in the journal are of special interest to readers with a strong background in math. The documents are available from the summary page in pdf format.
Proposition K, San Francisco's Taxi Regulation adopted by initiative measure in 1978; numerous attempts to amend it via subsequent initiatives have been unsuccessful
"The Economic Reasons for Price and Entry Regulations of Taxicabs. A Comment" in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, September 1977, Vol. 11, No. 3, Page 288, by R.B. Coffman. "A comment on the article in the September 1975 issue of this Journal, with the author's rejoinder." Note that this document is available from the JTEP index and summary page of free articles through 1996. Many of the articles published in the journal are of special interest to readers with a strong background in math. The documents are available from the summary page in pdf format.
"The Economic Reasons for Price and Entry Regulation of Taxicabs" in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, September 1975, Vol. 9, No. 3, Page 268, by C. Shreiber. "In a free market the charges for taxicabs tend to be high. Regulation in New York City has not been properly designed to achieve economic efficiency; but abolition of the present restriction on entry will increase congestion and pollution and attract more passengers from public transport." Note that this document is available from the JTEP index and summary page of free articles through 1996. Many of the articles published in the journal are of special interest to readers with a strong background in math. The documents are available from the summary page in pdf format.
"Price Regulation and Optimal Service Standards: The Taxicab Industry" in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, May 1972, Vol. 6, No. 2, Page 116, by G.W. Douglas. "In a market of cruising taxis price competition is impracticable, and service (measured by waiting time) cannot be differentiated by customers' willingness to pay. This article examines the principles governing the setting of efficient prices to attain the maximum use of the service." Note that this document is available from the JTEP index and summary page of free articles through 1996. Many of the articles published in the journal are of special interest to readers with a strong background in math. The documents are available from the summary page in pdf format.
Taxi inspection facility of the Public Carriage Office, London.
Links to regulators, industry groups and similar sites
International Association of Transportation Regulators, organization of taxicab regulators
Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association, formerly the ITLA
Institute of Licensing, UK association addresses issues common to all licensing activities
Transportation Research Board of the National Academies (US).
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Taxi Home Page including a link to the taxi regulations (Article 1100 of the SF Transportation Code).
National Transport Authority, taxi regulator of Ireland.
Victoria Transport Policy Institute, an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative and practical solutions to transportation problems, located in Victoria, British Columbia. Tries to identify the full benefits, costs and equity impacts of alternative transportation policies and programs.
All About Special Needs Transportation, by Dr. Ray Turner
How New Zealand Handles Taxi Driver Access Denial
Berkeley (California) Taxicab Regulations, short and sweet, four-page ordinance for a small city open-entry market (472k PDF)
The Institute for Justice favors open-market policies and has litigated cases involving Denver taxis, NYC vans and Las Vegas limos.
Questionnaire for Quebec transportation agencies aimed at evaluating the best ways to ensure that there is sufficient number of taxis in service equipped to transport at least one person in a wheelchair (81kb PDF)
Center for Alternative Transportation Research, by Arthur (Pat) Webster; page includes a link to his extraordinary 1998 compilation of taxi-related statistics as a 154-page downloadable PDF document
European Conference of Ministers of Transport, source of a number of relevant documents
International Road Transport Union Accessibility page.
Schaller Consulting, Bruce Schaller offers a wealth of information on NYC's taxi imdustry.
New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission
New York City rates of fare from the Taxi and Limousine Commission
Index to the New York City taxi regulations on the TLC web site
NYC journalist and attorney Dan Ackman writes often about the taxi industry and the TLC
London current rates of fare from the PCO
SF Municipal Transportation Agency Division of Taxis and Accessible Services, San Francisco taxi regulator from March 2009
Taxi page of the Orange County (California) Transportation Authority
Taxi Service Improvements, by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, Australia
Victorian Taxi Association, Australia
Taxi section of the New South Wales Ministry of Transport
Manitoba Taxicab Board, taxi regulatory body for Winnipeg
Passenger Transportation Board of British Columbia, Canada
NIST US National Institute for Standards and Technology
NIST Publication 44 section 5.54 on Taximeter standards, on the NIST web site as a PDF format
Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics
Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, UK
OpenThesis.org has links to many academic works related to taxis.
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