Calgary cab drivers ignored calls from customers for one-third of their working hours in July, new data suggests.
Despite city bylaws that don't allow the practice, 97 per cent of drivers spend 30.7 per cent of their time transporting customers, 35.6 per cent of time in dispatch without a fare and 33.7 per cent of time doing neither, meaning drivers off dispatch are likely looking for roadside fares, reports Metro Calgary.
The City of Calgary plans to target drivers who aren't booking fares using the dispatch system, Marc Halat, the city’s chief livery officer, told CBC News.
The real problem is that customers call multiple cab services, and taxis have numerous no-shows per month, which might motivate drivers to look for customers on the street, said Halat.
“If you called three companies, you've got three cabs coming and we've just taken two more cabs out of service that need to be somewhere else," he added to CBC News.
According to the data, almost one in four dispatch requests during the 2012 holiday season resulted in no-shows, 660News reports.
The findings struck a nerve with with some living in a city that has a reputation of having a cab shortage, especially during peak hours.
Many took to Reddit to outline their pains with the system.
"Customers aren't calling multiple cabs for fun. They are doing it in an attempt to avoid waiting for cabs that don't show up 30% of the time. Anyone that has ever tried to get a cab in the city knows exactly what that is like," said one user.
"I think your 30% number is generous. Last Saturday evening I called 6 cabs from 2 different cell phones, and none showed up at all," said another.
The findings will be presented at a Taxi Limousine Advisory Committee meeting this Friday, according to Metro News, where a fine for passengers who vomit or soil themselves during cab rides will also being considered.
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