November 18, 2014

Toronto vs. Uber

Toronto City Council, freshly free of Mayor Rob Ford, has wasted no time going after anything and anyone who is not contributing to city coffers. In this case, they've decided Uber, the web-based taxi service, needs to be stopped.
“By its actions, it is the city’s opinion that Uber is jeopardizing public safety, including that of individuals they are recruiting as drivers,” said Tracey Cook, executive director of city licensing and standards division, at a city hall press conference. “They are continuing to operate in flagrant disregard of the laws of both the city and the province.”

The city is asking for a hearing for an injunction be held as soon as possible. The application for it to be heard has not yet been scheduled.

In an email, Uber spokesperson Lauren Altmin defended the company’s place in Toronto and called the court application “disappointing.”

“Torontonians have taken to Uber in droves because it offers something better than what bureaucrats and the taxi cartel have provided to date,” Altmin wrote. “With Uber, Torontonians have enjoyed real competition and greater choice. We offer safe, reliable, environmentally-friendly and affordable transportation options that are designed for what consumers want today.”
Indeed, the taxi cartel, as Uber put it, has had a monopoly on service.  They pay a significant set of licensing and fees to the city.  In addition, the city gets significant revenue from it's transit system.  And the city council is full of socialists who believe they have the right to force the public into public transit funnels and away from driving because it's greener and more egalitarian.  

But what is so egalitarian about artificially high prices and sustaining artificial demand by strong-arming any type of competition out of existence?  Absolutely nothing.

The federal Conservative party just yesterday won two by-elections (special elections) to replace members of parliament.  But grassroots politics, local politics, still matters and as is the case in so many municipalities, is still dominated by the left.  That's because the left pays attention and votes at the lower levels. The right has never done enough in that regard.  

Uber is rightly contesting this absurd, trumped-up, supposedly safety concern drive initiative by Toronto City Council. This is all about money, tax money, and most everyone sees it.
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