I've always thought it difficult to hail a cab in Portland (on those rare occasions when my bicycle tiki bar breaks down) and, thankfully, northwest environmental think tank Sightline have gone and crunched the numbers on local taxis.
Their argument is that cheap taxis promote green transportation, since they fill in the transit gaps that allow people to get rid of their cars or walk most places. But limiting the number of taxis can increase the average ride cost. So check out where Portland falls on the taxi continuum:
Consider the efforts of Portland’s Transportation Board of Review, which has the power to issue new taxi licenses but is also charged by city law with monitoring “market saturation factors.” It is supposed to avoid market oversaturation, something every other market—from pizza delivery to home remodeling—manages to do just fine on its own, without benefit of a board. In Portland, the rules actually require applicants to prove that a new taxi license is needed. Imagine if Pizza Hut had to demonstrate to the Pizza Delivery Board that it needs another driver for the Super Bowl.