Before entering this debate, I think it would be helpful to imagine an ideal business model. And, this model should be looked at strictly from the standpoint of picking up cab customers in the most efficient way possible. It should have:
1. One dispatching system. As to whether this would be one big company like Pre-K Yellow Cab or a centralized dispatch is not important. What's essential is that all the taxis in the city would be connected to it.
A. You ask why? Primarily because it would minimize the major curse of all radio/computer dispatch players - the NO-GO. No mas customers calling 7 cab companies simultaneously.
B. No mas 4 taxis showing up for an order while passing 3 potential calls en route.
C. This would work for the customers as well because they wouldn't be calling for, say, a distant Yellow when there was a Luxor a block away.
2. I think the system should be computerized with a modern app like Cabulous and the cabs should all be GPS enabled.
A. I have a vision of a computer or a dispatcher automatically assigning each order to the nearest taxi. No muss mo fuss.
3. All drivers should have to pick up whatever order they are assigned unless they have very, very good reasons.
A. I'm not interested in the employee vs Independent Contractor debate here. This is an "Ideal" system.
B. The drivers, for instance, could agree to pick up all dispatched orders as part of their contracts. As to whether or not this would play with the EDD is something I can't answer.
C. In any case, certain orders would not be picked up (for one reason or another) unless such a rule was in place.
Of course the system would be overwhelmed from time to time like during conventions or rush hour Friday nights but, on the whole, I think it would give the City very good coverage with the number of taxis we have now. It might also allow a cab to do things like piggy-back pick-ups when it's the only taxi in an area like the deep Sunset. And, customers could be given a more accurate estimation of how long it would take for them to get a cab; thus easing their anxiety, hostility and their desperate desire to ride in expensive limos.
Coming Soon - Reality.