Winnipeg Cab History / 76: Postwar to the 1950s (3)
Previous page Next page Winnipeg Cab History Taxi Library Home

Click on the picture to see a larger version.

This photo from 1952 shows Duffy's Taxi No. 5 fresh from a wash. The car is a 1951 Meteor, a Ford product marketed in Canada. The red and white colour scheme was a novelty. The Taxicab Board actually banned the use of such bright colours on taxis from 1935 to 1951. Duffy's Taxi was started in 1947 by Gordon Cherney.


1952. Duffy's Taxi. Archives Manitoba, Hall, Frank 99-4.

Winnipeg Cab History / 76

Postwar to the 1950s (3)

A second factor that had far-reaching consequences for the industry was the decision to make taxi licenses tranferrable.

This combined with the 400 quota made taxi licenses a rare and precious commodity and over the years their under-the-counter market value steadily increased. In 1956 the street value of a taxi license was $8,000 to $9,000. This did not reflect the license fee itself but the business "goodwill" associated with the license.

In 1965 taxis were reportedly sold at prices as high as $15,500. By 1971 the range was up to $17,500. Now (in 2012) it is rumoured to be close to half a million dollars.

The price of buying into a taxi business is therefore a major capital cost which serves as a barrier to entry and also an expense that has to be offset by taxi fares.

This result, along with the minimum fare and other restrictive regulations that limit the ability of taxi companies to market their services, is the legacy of the taxi war of the 1920s and 1930s.


Previous page Next page Winnipeg Cab History Taxi Library Home