Winnipeg Cab History / 55: Meterless Taxis
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These ads for "dollar taxis" from the 1925 Winnipeg telephone book show how blatantly cab companies were able to advertise their illegal flat rates.


Manitoba Telephone System, Official Directory Greater Winnipeg, No. 54, July, 1925, p. 86.

Winnipeg Cab History / 55

Meterless Taxis

Meterless cabs generally employed the "zone" system. Each cab company divided Winnipeg into geographical zones and charged fares based on how many zones the cab entered or crossed during a trip.

By 1925, however, intense competition forced most of these companies to abandon zones and adopt a flat rate of one dollar for trips anywhere within the Winnipeg city limits.

This was a blatant violation of existing cab legislation which specified that fares had to be charged by the measured mile or by the hour. So lax was enforcement, however, that the offenders openly advertised their illegal rates.

The lax enforcement was not surprising given that politicians and industry leaders were woefully ignorant of the cab bylaw and its provisions:

One of the more surreal moments of Winnipeg's taxi war came in January 1933 when the city solicitor had to get out the city bylaws to prove to a sceptical meeting of aldermen and taxi operators that the flat fare being discussed would violate the jitney bylaw passed just fifteen years before. The mayor noted, "Apparently no one was aware of the point."


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