1,304 licensed taxicabs ply the streets of Denver now. And, apparently that number will hold. According to the Denver Post, the state Public Utilities Commission today wisely turned down two different requests to add 150 more cabs (300 total) to the flock.
If there is one thing that we do not need Downtown, it is more taxis. Prior to today’s ruling, Metro Taxi undertook an undercover video operation and found its own, and other, drivers in violation of allowable procedures. They were frequently turning down “short” trips. They were constantly making illegal turns and parking illegally trying to get fares. And, they were overcharging and undercharging competitively trying to find business. There is not enough business for even these 1,304 taxis in Denver.
Sure, they do better with the large conventions. And, some of the drivers did so well during the 2008 Democratic National Convention they took their vacations, or even retired, afterward. But, most days, you are more likely to get run over, at some intersections, by a cab than by a car…or a bus.
Don’t worry. If you need a cab, you’ll find one. Or, a pedi-cab. Or, a horse and buggy. Many Downtown residents have the phone number of a personal cab driver they like for those trips to the airport at 4:00 in the morning.
In Aspen, tourists can pop for a ride with the indomitable Jon Barnes, in The Ultimate Taxi. Check this out.
But, here, we’ve got cabs. And, if you are lucky, the driver will actually know how to get where you want to go. And, if you are even luckier, you can split your group into two cabs, jump into the second one, and pretend you’re in a movie with the command to the driver, “Follow that cab!” (Denver by the Slice actually accomplished that. Once. In Fiji, of all places. Plenty of cabs there, too.)