Taxis, Transit and Gridlock
The three most serious problems in Toronto (and many other large Cities). Politicians always promise to “improve transit” or “do something about traffic” and pile on regulation to make taxis “safer” but in reality all Toronto has done is start, stop, start, stop, start stop much like Toronto traffic on these important issues.
Ideas spark action then elections come, governments change, stall momentum and start again with a new plan and nothing ever gets done. This is why we have the most underdeveloped transit system in Toronto.
Uber came here and shook up an industry. They got people talking about a service that had consistently been rewarded for being bad as they’ve never had pressure to be better. It uncovered the real problem. The Cabbies are struggling to make a living while lining the pockets of the few families that own the cab licenses who also own the cars and leasing companies. These Cabbies were being nickle and dimed to death and it showed in their service (or lack thereof). Uber shone the light on the regulation that was supposed to make Toronto taxis safer actually exist to keep the value of the Plates up and the few owners very very rich. Whether Uber sticks around or not, these rules are bound to change now. Slowly, but they’ll change. That’s good.
uberHOP was launched in Toronto yesterday. Guess what’s going to happen now? Uber is challenging the law that awards the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) a legal monopoly on public transit in Toronto (many other Cities have this too). You don’t have to be a lawyer to know that what they’re doing is illegal. They know exactly what they’re doing and are ready to take a stand and force TTC to be better while offering Torontonians a better transit experience along over-populated and under-serviced routes. Have you ever tried to get on a streetcar along King Street East of Liberty Village? Or from Leslieville West of The Beaches?
The argument that what they’re doing is illegal so they should stop is short sighted. They’re challenging laws that don’t foster a Do Better marketplace. These laws aren’t in line with the experience expectation of humans in 2015.
Uber is bending the law and starting conversations. These conversations are pressuring politicians and together we’re slowly creating an environment where innovation and creativity are rewarded. This is good and we love Uber for it.
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