Ahhh, the ubiquitous old-fashioned taxicab. Since the invention of the combustible engine, they’ve enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the industry. Now that Uber has (finally) arrived in Edmonton, our beloved ferriers-of-the-drunk are raising a stink. Say the taxi associations: Uber is illegal! They have no license! They are stealing from us! The Edmonton Taxi Association (ETA) ostensibly wants the City to ban Uber. They are, according to the ETA, a “bandit taxi”.
Which makes the timing of this article all the more delicious:
Complaints against taxis are up because the city has made it easier for people to file their complaints. Which leads me to ponder a couple questions:
1. Generally, do you feel safe in a taxi?
2. Do you think taxis in Edmonton provide quality service?
3. Do you mind that the meter starts at $6.60 after midnight?
Imagine an Edmonton where you don’t have to give directions to your cabbie, they do not talk on their phone while driving and they follow the rules of the road. Imagine Edmonton cabbies went through the kind of training a London cab driver goes through. There’d be no need for alternative taxi services.
I suspect after some more temper tantrums from the ETA, the City will actually take a close, detailed look at the feasibility of a licensed and legal Uber service. The taxi lobby has enjoyed unfettered monopolization for a long time. And generally, the first reaction to any economic disruption is to defend the status quo. The answer to Edmonton taxi companies’ woes with Uber is simple: quit whining and provide better fucking service.