Letter: Solution to ride-hailing dilemma

Dear Editor,

There’s been a lot of information and opinion on how and if ride-sharing should be implemented.

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The BC Taxi Association is keen to make life as difficult for competition, and we have to ask ourselves if that’s the right approach to the situation?

Let’s go back to the fundamental problem that we have: Supply of taxis does not meet current demand.

The BC Taxi Association does not increase supply, as they want their current taxi drivers to thrive with ample work.

This has led to increased taxi prices, long wait times, and lack of quality of service.

But more importantly, cab drivers are not thriving in the current model they have set up.

High cost of living combined with increasing cost of insurance, gas and business expenses cut all possible profits for them.

I truly feel for them. Imagine getting a few hundred thousand dollar loan for a licence that is not worth that much now, paying nation high insurance and gas, dealing with the challenges of life overall, and now hearing there will be cheaper competition coming in. It’s a bad situation to be in.

What do we do?

The BC Taxi Association would like regulation and restrictions to apply to ride-sharing companies, as a way to create a “fair playing field.”

In other words, make life as hard for everyone else as for their own members.

What’s a better solution?

I would recommend the BC Taxi Association change their current attitude, and lobby towards subsidizing costs for their members.

Let’s aid our taxi drivers by allowing them discounts on gasoline, insurance and other related costs of running their business.

Let’s give them a competitive advantage that will not only give them much-needed relief, but will also sustain them as new players come in.

Don’t forget us, the consumers of their services.

We will ultimately benefit by having the option to choose which ride-sharing method we prefer, at the same or cheaper price, with prompt quality service.

Win-win situation for all.

Daniel Pascual

RICHMOND

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