by Andrew Walden
Vetoing Council Bill 35 on June 19, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell claimed he is trying to “level the playing field for taxis and transportation network companies.”
In the midst of all the Uber/Lyft hysteria, Caldwell conveniently leaves the UPW job trust Handi-Van Service out of the equation.
According to the most recent Honolulu Auditor’s report, Handi-Van provides service at $40.01 per ride, taxis contracted to provide Handi-Cab transportation give better quality service at $21.53 per ride. Here are the details:
"The taxis are on-call and used as needed to provide trips that the Handi-Van fleet cannot accommodate; to fill-in; to make runs for late trips; and to provide service to locations that are not accessible by the larger Handi-Van. Between FY 2013 and FY 2015, OTS carried a total of 459,869 customers by taxis at a cumulative cost of $9.9 million. The average cost per taxi ride was $21.53 for the period FY 2013 to FY 2015.
Comparatively, the average cost for a Handi-Van trip was $40.01 during the same time period, or 46% more than the cost of a taxi trip."
Pounded by Uber/Lyft competition, Eco-Cab August 10 announced it is eliminating regular taxi service to focus entirely on Handi-Cab services for the disabled.
According to the Audit report, Handi-Van creates 371 ‘positions’ as of 2015. Unlike taxi services which use efficient minivans for wheelchair-bound customers, Handi-Van jams up Oahu traffic with gigantic truck-vans foisted on Oahu Transit Services by manipulation of the bidding process.