United Taxi is the first cab company in Ontario to offer in-car WiFi

Rob Attrell

February 12, 2016 8:00am

Taxis have been facing increased pressure from ride-hailing services like Uber over the last few years.

As that competition stiffens, both sides are doing what they can to improve their services, or offer new options to customers. Last year, Vancouver’s Yellow Cab, offered WiFi connectivity to customers in its taxis, the first company in Canada to do so.

This week, Kitchener’s United Taxi has joined that group, becoming the first company in Ontario to offer WiFi in a taxi. The company is used by riders taking long trips to Toronto’s airport, and is often used by businesspeople who need to stay connected. Ajmer Mandur, United Taxi spokesman, estimates the average cab ride in Waterloo is only 10 to 15 minutes, but that free WiFi is still appealing on those shorter trips.

United Taxi spent about $350,000 on brand new dispatch, payment, and WiFi systems for its whole fleet in an attempt to compete with Uber, which launched in the region in July of last year.

Last summer, the Region of Waterloo made headlines when it said it would try to be the first municipality in Canada to attempt to regulate ride-sharing services. This decision was later retracted, as the area opted to wait and let other regions give it a try first.

Image credit: CBC

  • vn33

    I’d say this is the right way to compete with Uber, offering useful, value-added options to the customer. Don’t think clogging up the roads will bring better results.
    To be fair though, the licensing system is all screwed up where the plate (license) owner benefits, not the renters (drivers themselves). From that perspective, I totally understand why the drivers are p*ssed-mad !

  • Over Cumall

    York Region Taxi Driver here to tell you Drivers in York have been providing free WiFi in their taxis for quite some time now. Its done by turning on their Smartphone’s WiFi hotspot which then shares its cellular network data connection with whomever is in or very near the vehicle.
    And we got the idea from Toronto Cabbies who were doing it long ago.

    The trend toward Cell Service Providers like Wind Mobile offering unlimited data makes it inexpensive. We also have charging stations and the cables in the vehicle for customer use and I have found that the power outlets and cables are more useful and appreciated than the WiFi.

  • Alain Lafond

    At least this improvement comes from a legal provider, respecting laws…
    But it’s coming everywhere. I also heard that a Montreal taxicab (Teo) is on the way to put all-electric cars on the road with wi-fi. Times are cahnging!