The Taxicab: An Urban Transportation Survivor

By Gorman Gilbert; Robert E. Samuels | Go to book overview

10
REGULATION AND DEREGULATION

With the exception of a few brief periods, public concern has seldom focused on the regulation of taxicabs. Indeed, under most conditions, taxicab regulations have rarely seemed an item of much importance. As noted in chapter 3, current taxicab ordinances are but a step in the long evolution of paratransit regulations dating from 1654 in England. Moreover, taxi regulation in the United States is a local responsibility and hence has seldom attracted national attention.

There have been at least two exceptions to this public indifference. One was the Depression, and the other was the period immediately after World War II. These two periods were times of extraordinary economic changes. The taxicab industry in both instances was severely effected by the influx of new owner-operators; the result was chaos and conflict within the industry and irresponsible service to the public. The response from public officials was to enact regulations limiting the number of taxicabs, fixing fares, and specifying allowable services. Advocates of taxicab regulation have often cited the Depressionproduced problems as a reason to continue limits on the number of taxicabs. This and other arguments for such regulation will be examined later in this chapter.

It could be argued that the late 1970s began another period of public interest in taxicab regulations. Seattle, Miami, San Diego, and Portland all enacted major changes in their taxicab ordinances. Several state conferences and a national conference on regulatory revision for taxicabs in Kansas City in May 1980 all focused attention on the subject of taxi ordinances.

While certainly less crisis oriented than that during the Depression or postwar periods, this interest is somewhat similar to that of those periods in thatd it resulted from abnormal economic conditions. Rising

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The Taxicab: An Urban Transportation Survivor
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • TABLES AND FIGURES ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Myths, Misconceptions, and Neglect 3
  • 2 - European Ancestors of the Taxicab 8
  • 3 - The Development of the Taxicab 25
  • 4 - The Birth of Taxicab Fleets 38
  • 5 - The Depression and Regulation 61
  • 6 - War and Recovery 74
  • 7 - Federal Involvement 86
  • 8 - The Economics of Taxicab Operations 103
  • 9 - Service Innovations 123
  • 10 - Regulation and Deregulation 141
  • 11 - Dimensions of Change 156
  • 12 - The Survival of Private Enterprise in Public Transportation 170
  • Notes 181
  • Bibliography 187
  • Index 191
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