Winnipeg Cab History / 83: The 1950s to the 1960s (3)
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More taxi ads from the 1954 Winnipeg phone book. United Taxi's linked-chain logo was adopted by Duffy's after their merger in 1964. Ritz was owned by former Diamond driver John W. Davis; see "Old Line" Companies (2)). See Sargent and Duffy's taxis at Postwar to the 1950s.

Source:

Manitoba Telephone System, Official Directory Greater Winnipeg, no. 135, July, 1954, Classified Telephone Directory p. 226.

Winnipeg Cab History / 83

The 1950s to the 1960s (3)

By 1964 Duffy's had built up a fleet of 50 cabs and was poised to expand further. All but one of the 23 United Taxi owners had agreed to join Duffy's. Moreover, there was dissension in the ranks of Veterans-Nash and it seemed possible that half of its owner-members were ready to defect to Duffy's. A major incentive for the merger was the possibility of bidding against Unicity for the airport concession.

When the smoke cleared 22 United and 23 Veterans-Nash owners joined Duffy's while four Duffy's owners went over to Veterans-Nash, taking seven cabs with them. United Taxi ceased to exist although the new Duffy's adopted its linked-chain logo. Duffy's now had a fleet of 88 cars, but by 1969 it had 117 cars and 143 cars by 1978.

In 1971 Morris Neaman and Edward L. Rice decided to sell Moore's, Grosvenor and Yellow to interested drivers. To protect Neaman's and Rice's investment the three cab firms were sold as a single unit divided into 203 shares (one for each cab in the combined fleet). Each share was offered at $10,000 with installments payable weekly over five years. Shareholders did not own their cabs outright and could not sell their shares to anyone outside the company until the entire purchase was completed.

Yellow was the first company to be sold under this arrangement. It began operating as Unicity Taxi in 1971. Moore's and Grosvenor were added to the package in 1972.

Neaman and Rice remained as directors of the new company until 1977 when the cab purchases had been completely paid off. At that point Unicity Taxi became, like Duffy's, an association of independent taxi owners.

Today the great majority of cabs are operated by two large companies, Duffy's and Unicity. When we compare this with 1938, when there were over 50 taxi companies, it looks on the surface like the Winnipeg cab industry has consolidated to an astonishing degree.

In fact, though, both companies are made up of a multitude of independent taxi operators. Small-scale independent operators characterize the Winnipeg taxi industry today, just as they have done through most of its history.

(Note)

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