According to the latest numbers provided by the city’s Livery Transport Services, ride volumes for ride-sharing companies like Uber jumped from 2.28 million trips in 2017 to just over 4 million trips last year in Calgary. At the same time, the city’s taxi industry saw a sharp decline in ridership for the fourth straight year, reports The Calgary Herald.
“We’re very happy with the growth we’ve seen in Calgary. We believe it’s an indication that Calgarians want ride-sharing to be a part of their daily lives,” said Michael van Hemmen, Uber’s business manager for Western Canada. “We’ve seen that ride sharing and taxis can coexist”, he added.
On the other hand, taxi companies in Calgary have watched their numbers go down over the past four years from just under 7.5 million trips in 2015 to just over 6 million last year.
With 3,622 active licences for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) compared with around 2,000 taxi licences in Calgary, some are questioning the numbers provided by ride-share companies noting they don’t have the same level of scrutiny faced by the taxi industry:
“I think those numbers are creative accounting,” said Jeff Garland, vice-president of operations for Associated Cabs. Ltd., noting the data provided by TNCs is still manual, though the city is endeavouring to automate the process.
“You’re going to tell me trip volume has actually gone up right in the middle of a bad economy?”
“We really need to cap the number of TNCs so the taxi industry has a fair chance,” he said.
With trips between taxis and ride-share outfits combined, city data suggest some 10 million trips were taken between the two last year, an increase of almost three million trips annually since TNCs were approved.