Friday, March 02, 2007

Cab troubles aired in Colorado

Ever wonder what is behind the apparent disincentive in the cab industry to better serve people with disabilities? Some possible explanations were aired at a recent public hearing in Colorado. In that state, anyway, the deal is pretty cozy for cab companies and it rewards taking longer, more lucrative fares to the extent that sometimes shorter or more work involved fares are simply ignored, some at the hearing asserted. "The cab companies have a great deal going," Ray Gifford, a former state Public Utilities Commission chairman, told the House transportation committee. "They get to take all the producer surplus from the drivers and they have an entry barrier to all new entrants" in the market, creating a virtual monopoly. A free market solution is usually the best. It seems like there should be demand out there for private transit that can accommodate people with disabilities (if they can get them to answer the call). But if the market isn't working then some government leverage is in order. A Yellow Cab exec defended the company's commitment to passengers with disabilities, stating that 5 percent of their fleet in Denver was accessible. Denver proper is a city of over half a million people. I'm thinking it's going to be pretty hard to get one of those accessible cabs to everyone that needs one on a given day, especially if demand is where it should be. (Photo by Mary Thorman via


Post a Comment

<< Home