Where are the taxis going?
Abstract1. Everywhere in the world, the taxi is set to play a central role in the future of urban mobility. On the supply side, the revolution in practices brought about by the mobile phone and GPS still have a long way to go in terms of improvements in service and reductions in costs. On the demand side, demographic and lifestyle changes and environmental imperatives are beginning to create certain needs that the taxi is best able to meet at minimum cost. 2. These forces that govern the role of the taxi and the demand for mobility apply everywhere, but the resistances they encounter differ from one city to the next. However, even in cities where existing positions seem most firmly entrenched, the attraction of these markets is such that new players are managing to infiltrate gaps in the system by means of innovation. 3. The evolution of the taxi industry is generally not a smooth ride, especially when some stakeholders, entrenched in obsolete regulation, have been able to deter reform for a long time. 4. When looking back through history, the taxi industry seems to evolve from crisis to crisis, punctuating more or less lengthy periods of stillness. These crises may be the disruptive entries of newcomers into a tightly regulated market. Most of the time, these bring with them a new technology or a radically different business model. These crises may also be engineered by governments, as in the case of deregulation. 5. Studying these critical moments could provide some insights in the basic economic and political mechanisms at work when shaping the supply of taxi services and help regulators anticipating the outcomes of the changes in progress they witness.
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Date of creation: 13 Jul 2010
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Publication status: Published - Presented, Special Session "Taxis" of the 12th World Conference on Transport Research (WCTR), 2010, Lisbonne, Portugal
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taxi; regulation; history;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-01-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2011-01-30 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-REG-2011-01-30 (Regulation)
- NEP-URE-2011-01-30 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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