Competition is healthy

Further accounts of taxi drivers intimidating passengers and e-hailing drivers so that they can enforce a transport monopoly do the industry no favours.

The Dunoon Taxi Association is quick to deflect the allegations, creating the impression that its drivers are simply misunderstood, but this is not the first time that these allegations have surfaced and, given the taxi industry’s reputation for strong-arm tactics, it is unlikely to be the last.

As more transport options become available to the industry’s long-suffering vict…, um, customers in a world where smartphone apps and disruption have become the norm, there’s the risk that the taxi drivers will resort increasingly to threats and violence to keep their business model afloat.

But they need to resist that temptation if they hope to stay relevant because it will only make their passengers more frustrated, until eventually the trickle of individuals abandoning the queue at the rank to catch an Uber becomes a tidal wave.

Instead of seeing e-hailing drivers and the like as their adversaries, taxi drivers should welcome them as partners. They both provide vital services, the scope and profitability of which could be greatly expanded with some sharing of ideas.