Saskatoon cab drivers are bracing for one of the busiest nights of the year amid a flurry of activity before Christmas.
Shondra Boire with the Saskatchewan Taxi Cab Association (STCA) told 650 CKOM the weekend will be a “perfect storm” when it comes to getting a cab.
“With all the social gatherings, business Christmas parties, and adding in the Rush game there on Saturday … it’s going to be extremely difficult to find a taxi this weekend,” Boire said Thursday.
Between the city’s two cab companies, there are 210 taxis in Saskatoon. Boire said they hope to have all drivers on hand.
“All taxis are on the road to the best that we can. It’s just with everything going on, it’s going to be tough to have a taxi,” she said.
People are urged to book a ride through taxi company apps or by texting the same number used to call a cab.
“You will wait for your taxi, but you don’t need to wait on hold,” she said.
The STCA has been advocating for months to have the city grant more licences to companies.
Boire said the association has been pushing for a flex fleet that would allow for part-time drivers to work on high-traffic nights, such as this Saturday and New Year’s Eve.
“It would allow us to expand as the service demands. That’s what we’ve been after – we simply need just need more taxis,” she said, adding a weekend such as this could need an extra 50 to 100 cars.
She noted the association is “on a good road” with council, adding answers on these issues are expected in the spring.
For those driving to their events, Operation Red Nose in Saskatoon has added Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 to its run.
Volunteers initially left the weekend off the books, but chose to help after seeing an increased need for the service.
The service will also operate in Prince Albert and Yorkton this weekend. Operation Red Nose will be running in all Saskatchewan regions – including Regina and North Battleford – on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31.
– With files from 650 CKOM’s Daniella Ponticelli.