Research Output
Taxis beyond the comfort zone.
  Taxi services are a long-standing, well-established, mode of transport, commonly available and instantly recognizable. The mode has a significant history of supply which pre-dates motorized transport in many countries, and relates to a combination of form, function and control. Against the backdrop of a longstanding consistent supply, the taxi operates within a complicated set of regulations and controls, affecting separately the Quality, Quantity and Economic (tariff) circumstances under which the mode is provided. Taxi regulation appears regularly, but infrequently, as an issue in many countries, focused on the ‘long-standing’ debate whether the mode ought to or need be regulated by civic authority (Cains and Liston-Heyes, 1996). The issue is unresolved, insofar as the dual practices of restricted and open markets continue, often in apparent competition with each other. Indeed the continued prosecution of the regulatory argument some 40 years after its first appearance may in itself create a buffer around the industry, which may ironically prove harmful to the industry’s long-term survival. To make sense of this we need to expand on the concepts of such a buffer or separation, including its history; and to address the potential, gaps and opportunities facing the mode within and outwith, against a background of differing public transport models. We also need to consider two potential responses to the comfort zone, characterized, on one hand, by the view “if it aint broke why fix it?” and on the other by a view that change outside a given “box / envelope / restraint” is always good. But first to the history.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    01 January 2010

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HE Transportation and Communications

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    388 Transportation; ground transportation


Cooper, J. A. (2010, January). Taxis beyond the comfort zone. Paper presented at International Association of Transportation Regulators, Chicago



Taxis services; transport; regulations; controls; restricted; open markets;

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