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Taxi trade seeks to share late-night business

08/03/2012

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JEREMY NOLAIS

METRO CALGARY

Late-night transit service and staggered bar-closing times are two ideas Calgary taxi companies plan to pitch as solutions to a perceived service crunch.
Both ideas have been explored in the past and neither gained traction.
But Len Bellingham, chairman of the Calgary Livery Association and president of Mayfair Taxi, says both proposals, if enacted, would help to ease the burden on companies like his.
“The criticism we face for not providing service is not fair,” he said.
“If you look at it, from 1 to 3 a.m. every night we are the only transportation out there. To me, these things are sure worth a try.”
While the association may be advocating sharing business withMetro - Taxi trade seeks to share late-night business Calgary Transit, spokesperson Ron Collins says there are no plans to extend service past current hours.
The idea has been discussed previously in city- council chambers.
“We don’t have the budget for that, nor the resources,” Collins said.
But Bellingham disagrees, arguing that extended LRT service would be necessary only on weekend nights.
“Six more hours a week is all you need. I don’t think that’s a big deal,” he said.
As for staggering bar-closing times, Calgary police explored the idea in late 2010 as a way of improving patron safety.
Little headway was made at the time, but Ald. Druh Farrell says the idea still has merit.
“Many other cities do something similar,” she said.
The Livery Association plans to discuss its ideas during a meeting of the taxi and limousine advisory committee this month and could bring forward a pitch to city council in the spring.

http://www.metronews.ca/calgary/local/article/1117862–taxi-trade-seeks-to-share-late-night-business

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