Going for a ride
Last week, the Cornwall Police Services Board heard that one individual had been charged with violating the Highway Traffic Act and Cornwall’s Taxi by-law for operating a ride sharing service. In my opinion, instead of focusing on stamping out services like these, the City of Cornwall needs to prepare to live in a world where these types of businesses are a fact of life.
Over the past five plus years, we’ve seen ride share companies like Uber and Lyft form in Canadian cities like Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal and each time, local municipalities have dealt with the issue in different ways. Ottawa chose to fight Uber, at least at first. Ottawa police started to give out tickets to Uber drivers, but they weren’t deterred. Ottawa council did not address the concerns of their taxi companies, and they witnessed disruptions for months on end. Ultimately, after all that struggle, Uber operates in the City of Ottawa today.
In the fall of 2017, the province of Quebec. stood up to Uber and enacted regulations under which drivers must undergo 35 hours of training, just like taxi drivers. The company threated to leave the province if these regulations were enacted, but the province did not back down. Uber blinked, and they still operate in Quebec.
The City of Cornwall can learn lessons from fights other governments have had with ride sharing services. Would be entrepreneurs will not be deterred by tickets, it needs to be Cornwall City Council that deals with the issue and not the Cornwall Community Police Service. Technology makes it easy to form businesses along the Uber model. Council needs to update and revise the City’s taxi by-law. These new e- based businesses need to be properly regulated.
The reason why the taxi by-law exists in the first place is for public safety. These businesses will keep on popping up whether local taxi services, the CCPS, or the City of Cornwall like it. It is council’s responsibility to make the rules and ensure that these businesses exist and operate in a way that is safe for the public.
In forming this new by-law, council needs to not only ensure public safety, but also regulate the business environment in which this companies work. In a city looking to grow ride sharing services or businesses like them could be a new and important part of Cornwall’s economy.
As for the taxi services, I am a strong believer in the free market, and I believe that taxi companies will be able to evolve and remain competitive. For consumers, this is a win-win.
What do you think readers? I want to hear from you. Send me a Letter to the Editor with your thought at email@example.com
Tim Houle Auto Talk
Winter tires are important for keeping you safe on the road during the hazardous conditions of snowy and icy roads. But as the snow starts to melt and the days get warmer, you might start thinking about switching back to all-season or summer tires. Before you make the switch, here are some factors that can influence your timing.
It’s safe to remove your winter tires once the average daily high is above 5 C and the risk of snow or frost has passed. Keep an eye on the averages in your area and take a look at the long range forecast before switching out. Late spring snowfall isn’t unusual in many parts of Canada, so be prepared; Environment Canada can give you the information you need.
Remember that black ice isn’t visible, so the temperature is an important factor in ensuring you are safe on the road.
Before you take them off, you should know where you’re going to put them. Improper storage of your winter tires can lead to damage that will shorten their lifespan. Ask around;