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The taxi industry is in a battle between the benefits of having too few drivers and too many

Image credit: DALL.E (AI Generated)

The taxi industry faces a continuing trend: a declining number of drivers amidst a rise in private hire vehicles (PHVs). With PHVs flooding urban markets and out-of-town minicabs penetrating a growing number of areas, local taxi drivers find themselves navigating an increasingly competitive landscape.

Urban areas, previously bustling with taxis, now witness a contrasting scene. As PHVs continue to proliferate, the sheer volume threatens the stability of traditional taxi services. This saturation challenges the ability of taxi drivers to secure consistent work, raising concerns about the sustainability of their livelihoods.

However, there's a flip side to this coin. The reduction in taxi numbers might paradoxically benefit those who remain when it comes to peak time usage at taxi ranks. With fewer taxis available, the remaining drivers could potentially enjoy a larger share of the remaining customer demand.

This scenario presents a short-term advantage, offering relief and possibly more lucrative shifts for the drivers who stick it out.

But the question of sustainability looms large. Ensuring a robust and dependable taxi service requires maintaining an optimal number of cabs on the road. The current imbalance, spurred by an unlimited number of PHV licensees, should demand attention. However, the Government remain uninterested in addressing the issue of cross-border hiring, which would in turn allow for better consideration of recruitment strategies and possibly regulatory adjustments to manage the influx of PHVs.

The industry stands at a crossroads: How can it recalibrate to ensure both short-term viability for current drivers and long-term health for the taxi sector?


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