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TLPA’s Mid-Year Conference: Taking on the Last Frontier

What ties could Alaska have to the taxi industry? Well, you might be surprised. After all, Alaska is home to the U.S. city with the most cabs per capita.

Bethel, Alaska, has a population of 6,000. There are 70 taxis in Bethel, approximately one for every 85 people. That’s the highest ratio of U.S. cities. For perspective, New York City has roughly one cab for every 149 people.

Bethel, located in the southwest part of Alaska on the Tundra roughly 400 miles away from Anchorage, has no roads leading into (and therefore out of) the town. Few residents have cabs because of the exorbitant costs associated with getting a vehicle to Bethel. Even more, the cost of gas is notably expensive. That’s why the vice-mayor of Bethel told the Atlantic in 2015 that taxis really served as public transit in the town.

Interestingly, Bethel is known as the commercial hub for much of the area. It’s the most convenient place to see a doctor or run errands for miles around—even hundreds of miles around.

But one of Bethel’s true claims to fame is its number of taxis.

Maybe it’s fitting, then, that Alaska, known as “the last frontier,” will host the Mid-Year International Leadership Conference for the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association from July 12-15 in the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage. Though you won’t be able to trek to Bethel, there’s plenty to see. After all, as Alaska’s State Travel Bureau put it, Alaska is the land of superlatives.

It’s home to the largest national park, the highest peak in North America, the longest coastline in the U.S., it’s the biggest state, and in the summer, it has the longest day. So yes, there’s plenty to see in Alaska!

Other highlights include endless chains of mountains, the “Big Five” North American land mammals, including grizzly bears, moose, caribou, wolf, and Dall sheep, and glaciers throughout the state. After all, Alaska has been largely untouched by humans. Tourists can take helicopter tours to see the glaciers or cruises on the sea to watch for whales.

Anchorage itself has plenty of options for even a seasoned traveler. It’s Alaska’s largest city and widely known for its culture, including the Native Heritage Center, which documents the history of the area’s indigenous groups.

So save the date for the 2017 Mid-Year International Leadership Conference (July 12-15) and make your plans now as TLPA readies to take on Alaska, “land of superlatives,” “the last frontier,” and a state like no other in America!

Posted 5/3/2017 1:40:14 PM