Vancouver taxi companies, which were bracing for a lull in fares during the Games, say they’re pleasantly surprised with how business turned out in the end.

“It turned out better than we were hoping for,” said Amrik Mahil, president of Black Top and Checker Cabs, adding that night shifts and those near Olympic venues outside the downtown core were the most lucrative.

Before the Games, Mahil told Metro Vancouver that new driving restrictions and the completion of the Canada Line were contributing to a 45 per cent decrease in business.

But, in the end, transit services were so packed that frustrated commuters wound up calling taxis to get home after events.

“At Londsdale Quay, a couple of our cars dropped off there and there were people who were lining up for hours who said, ‘Just take us.’”

John Palis, managing administrator for Yellow Cab, said day business was slow in part because of the sunshine and street-festival atmosphere, which made people more inclined to walk.

Mahil and Palis said the police and city staff were helpful and friendly, and worked into the early hours to help co-ordinate traffic near taxi stands.

“The taxi industry is (now) watching to see what kind of post-Olympic impact (the Canada Line) is going to have on our industry,” Palis said.

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