Winnipeg Cab History / 81: The 1950s to the 1960s (1)
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Cab history seemed to come full circle in 1969 when the remains of an old horse-drawn coupe came to light. "Dr. E.C. Shaw, who runs the Red River Museum at St. Andrew's, has acquired an old hackney cab which is being restored at his town garage in Tuxedo. The doctor says he found that the cab's original lamps were made for candles and a check with the provincial archivist revealed that the vehicle was probably used in Manitoba about 1885."


"Vintage cab" (photo), Winnipeg Tribune, September 2, 1969, p. 23.

Winnipeg Cab History / 81

The 1950s to the 1960s (1)

Moore retired from active participation in his company in 1948 and died in 1961. By 1964 Moore's and its subsidiary Grosvenor were owned by Morris Neaman (1899-1974), who also owned half of Yellow Taxi. Neaman called his umbrella company Associated Winnipeg Taxis.

The other half of Yellow was owned by Neaman's partner, Edward L. Rice, under the name Y & Y Holdings. Rice, who served as president of Yellow, had been in the taxi business since 1930. Neaman's background was in the clothing and fur trades (he was President of Neaman Furs) and he had a variety of business, community service and charitable interests. He seems to have been the financier in the Neaman-Rice partnership while Rice provided the taxi expertise.

Grosvenor and Yellow continued as subsidiaries of Moore's up to 1971 when the three companies began morphing into Unicity Taxi. For financial purposes the companies were a single entity but they operated as distinct units with separate call taking and dispatch services.

The largest of Moore's competitors up to 1950 had fleets no larger than 30 or 35 cabs. The 400-cab limit effectively barred powerful new players from entering the industry. At the same time the restriction on licenses, combined with their transferability, made license-holders see them as an investment that they were not eager to dispose of.

As a result the only way to assemble a cab fleet large enough to challenge Moore's was through amalgamation. Until the postwar period there was little danger of this happening given the fierce independence of taxi operators.

However, as the economy improved and Winnipeg grew, the benefits of a large fleet became much more evident. Moore's airport concession became more lucrative as air passenger traffic exploded. Also, Moore's size gave it an edge in negotiating contracts for taxi service with companies and government agencies. These factors provided an incentive for small fleets to merge.


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