City addresses cab shortage concerns with the start of Ramadan

CALGARY- The city is hoping special arrangements for cab drivers during the holy period of Ramadan will ensure a healthy supply of cabs, at a time when they’re already at a premium because of the Stampede.

It’s estimated one-third of the city’s taxi drivers are Mulsim and many will be observing Ramandan, which begins Tuesday night and continues for the next 30 days.

Ramadan requires Muslims to fast during the day. Once the sun goes down they stop to pray and eat.

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For the convenience of drivers, the city has set up a tent on a parking lot near the Stampede where they can break their fast. It hopes that will allow cabbies to return quickly to the taxi stands.

Cab companies say they aren’t worried Ramadan will lead to a taxi shortage.

“It doesn’t pick up until after 11:30 until 3:30-4:00 in the morning, so that particular timeframe is not a huge concern,” says Jeff Garland, the general manager of Associated Cabs .

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Meanwhile plans for a taxi queue on a lane of Macleod Trail near the Stampede grounds were scrapped even before the Stampede started, due to safety concerns.

Instead, two taxi stands have been set up at the north end of the grounds, one near Cowboys at 12th Avenue and 3rd Street S.E. and the other at Olympic Way and 14th Avenue S.E.

Stampede-goers will find a third taxi stand outside Erlton gates, near the south end of the grounds.

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