01/23/2012 05:58 EST | Updated 03/24/2012 05:12 EDT

More taxis sought for Vancouver weekends

Vancouver's four big taxi companies want the provincial government to add nearly 100 more cabs to improve service on weekends.

The request comes in the wake of an independent study commissioned by the industry to assess the impact of a pilot project last year that put 65 extra weekend cabs on the road.

The study found downtown pickups increased by 10 per cent with a nearly four-per-cent decrease in wait times, said Yellow Cab General Manager Carolyn Bauer.

"There is a need for extra licensing, so what we are requesting to the Passenger Transportation Board is an additional 99 weekend taxi licenses,” Bauer said.

But Vancouver Taxi Association spokesman Kulwinder Sahota said more cabs won't work unless there is also a stop put to out of town cabs picking up fares in Vancouver.

"Most of them are from the airport on Fridays and Saturdays,” said Sahota.

He said the suburban cab drivers are getting fined, but the price of the fines still makes it worth their while to pick up passengers in Vancouver.

In the meantime, the taxi companies are asking the government for permission to keep the temporary weekend taxis on the road while a decision is made.