So what is it about taxis, anyway, that gives them all this special treatment on our roads? Above, left turns are prohibited on René Lévesque Blvd. in order to keep traffic flowing smoothly. But taxis, for some reason, are exempt from this rule. So if a taxi wants to turn left, it can just sit there in the middle of the intersection waiting for an opportunity to do so.
But what’s more frustrating is that taxis get to use Montreal’s reserved bus lanes, whether or not they are carrying any passengers. Why is that? Are taxis considered small buses? Does a taxi carrying one person pollute less than a personal car carrying one person? Are taxis so vital to the economy that they should be exempt from downtown traffic?
My attempts to find an explanation have so far been fruitless. As far as I can tell, the reasoning behind it is the same as that which gives newspapers an exemption from Canada’s Do Not Call List regulations: Taxis have a very powerful lobby.