Serious 'labor shortage' in taxi industry

KYOTO, Jun 07 (NOJ) - While Kyoto Station is bustling and many tourists wait for a taxi, a shortage of drivers has left more than 50 vehicles in the taxi company's garage, TV Asahi reports.

At the Miyako Taxi Dispatch Center, a taxi company in Kyoto, the phone is ringing constantly requesting rides. However, the operator has to tell passengers, “Right now, there are no available taxis. So please wait."

More than 50 vehicles are left idle every day, and out of the approximately 2,000 vehicle dispatch requests per day, 400, or one-fifth, cannot be handled.

Miyako Taxi President Motoyoshi Tsutsui said, "It's due to the labor shortage. We have the cars, but not enough drivers. If we could hire people, everything would work." The number of drivers, which used to be about 400, has decreased to about 300.

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