Welcome To KW, Uber

Unless something suddenly changes in the next few minutes, at 2 this afternoon Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Hamilton and London will officially have Uber.

Predictably because this seems to happen everywhere it goes, its arrival has local taxi people and some politicians all upset. I get that part of the issue is safety and that is important, but let’s not kid ourselves here. Part of the problem is that the cab companies are worried they won’t be able to compete on price because of all the regulations and the government types are wondering how they’re going to get themselves a piece of the action.

On the subject of safety, If you’re being honest, you can’t tell me that taxis are always safe places. Have you seen the way some of those people drive? By and large I’ve had no problems, but more than once I’ve wondered if maybe I shouldn’t have put off getting my affairs in order.

Another reason I’ve had few problems is because I’m a man. Those cameras they’re putting in cabs now, they aren’t there simply to protect the drivers. If they were, why has it been mandated that every driver in the region has to take a training course that teaches them, essentially, that raping women is not a recommended on the job activity? All the licensing standards in the world haven’t stopped the repeated incidents around here from happening, so how is Uber that much worse?

As for another issue that’s near and dear to my heart and especially Carin’s seeing as she’s got a guide dog, how many stories have you heard about cab drivers refusing to pick up people and their service dogs? Perhaps we’ll come to find out that Uber is orders of magnitude worse, but for now I’m willing to take my chances and see if the savings are worth it.

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