Winnipeg Cab History / 75: Postwar to the 1950s (2)
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Above and Below: A 1953 Ford Mainline from the Sargent Taxi fleet. The Manitoba Legislative Building is in the background. The car is parked on a sidewalk.


Top: 1952. Sargent Taxi.. Archives Manitoba, Hall, Frank 99-2. Bottom: Hall, Frank 99-1.

Winnipeg Cab History / 75

Postwar to the 1950s (2)

Thanks to the Transit Controller, the Winnipeg taxi industry was now much more unified than it was in the 1930s. During the war the Transit Controller had pressured cab companies to form umbrella organizations to represent common interests.

The Winnipeg Taxicab Owners' Association was created as a result. It continued to act as a lobby for the Winnipeg taxi industry after the war. In 1956 it claimed to represent 95 percent of local taxi owners.

The WTOA protested the relaxation of the quotas, citing excessive competition and warning of a return to low wages and arduous working conditions for drivers. The Winnipeg taxi war was still a fresh and painful memory. Neither the Taxicab Board nor its political masters had any desire to resurrect it. Consequently in 1946 the Winnipeg taxicab quota was frozen at 400, or one taxi for every 801 people.

Prior to 1946 the taxicab quota was tied to population which allowed the Taxicab Board to increase the quota as Winnipeg's population increased. Fixing the quota at 400 denied the Taxicab Board this rationale and made it more difficult for the Board to change the quota.

As a result the 400 quota became sacrosanct and remained in force for decades. The first alteration in the 400-cab limit came in 1967 when the Taxicab Board licensed the first wheelchair-van taxis. This initiative led to a significant increase in Winnipeg's combined taxi fleet after wheelchair taxis were allowed to operate as regular cabs when not transporting disabled customers.


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