cooper

Logistics & Supply Chain Management Doctoral Seminar Series

Research Opportunities in the Taxi Market: Disruption, Rapid Evolution, New Apps and New Regulations

James Cooper, PhD

Visiting Professor of Urban Transportation Regulation University of Missouri – St. Louis and Head of the Taxi Studies Group and Senior Research Fellow Transport Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University


The extent to which you engage with, or even are aware of the complexities of the taxi market will often be based on your involvement with and use of ’on-demand’ transport. The taxi is, after all, the most ubiquitous and widely recognizable form of transport available anywhere in the world. It is also the oldest form of licensed transport, with Acts of Parliament dating from the 17th century.

Yet despite this veneer of a settled and understandable transportation, the taxi market is in a turmoil of the kind that we see only once in every 2 centuries or so. New technologies have so fundamentally jumbled up the market, and its controls, that the old mode is suddenly at the cutting edge. Whether a taxi or a taxi like vehicle, the app is changing the way people think of, book, and seek to control vehicles operating in this market space. Gone, forever, the nice certainties of the market. Gone also the ability to define and control in the public interest, at least using the traditional methods of analysis.

In their place a modern behemoth, a vision or a nightmare, or more likely a bit of both. How do we control, as issues of satisfying demand disappear to be replaced by questions as to what the demand actually is. Concepts of derived demand, while perfectly plausible in their own right, are replaced by questions of market response and market share. Operations are replaced by calls, e-hailing, and serious expenditure on advocacy. Here then a unique opportunity to the scientist, to the researcher and to the doctoral student.

Where next for the taxi market? Apply here all economists, transport scientists, modelers and sociologists. Here is the future, what future?

February 20, 2015 -- 1:15 – 2:30 pm 401 Social Science Building (Dean’s Conference Room) University of Missouri-St. Louis Please RSVP to Jill Bernard at jmbhw9@mail.umsl.edu by February