Few shared taxi schemes have been set up outside London under the provisions of the Transport Act 1985. The only one to be monitored systematically started in Ipswich in June 1988, offering shared taxi journeys from the railway station to all parts of the town. It failed to attract any significant number of passengers. Market research techniques were used to discover the reasons for this failure and to suggest what modifications might have made the scheme more attractive to passengers. The results of this research were also used to develop a model to estimate what the demand might have been for such an improved service. It appears that there are no fundamental obstacles to the successful operation of a shared taxi service in Ipswich: if the scheme had been organised and marketed in accordance with the suggestions from this study it might have proved profitable to the taxi trade and beneficial to passengers. The potential for shared taxi schemes serving stations with greater passenger flows than those at Ipswich seems considerable.

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