How should the city decide how many taxi permits to issue?
Believe it or not, Austin actually has a formula. And it’s not terribly arcane either, like the number of UT home games multiplied by number of South by Southwest venues divided by new Eastside dive bars.
Instead, there’s a longstanding equation, last revisited nearly a decade ago, that the city uses to assess how many cabs it should have on the streets. But that equation may change beginning this week.
As laid out in the city charter, the Ground Transportation Department sets the number of permits by multiplying the previous year’s number “by the average of the percent of annual change in: (1) the population of the City; and (2) the number of taxicab departures from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.”