An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
IT’S ALMOST CERTAIN B.C. won’t get ride hailing before Christmas and I say, so what?
Premier John Horgan is under fire for missing yet another self-imposed deadline to get ride hailing on the road, and to listen to the BC Liberals and radio hotline whiners this is the greatest disaster since the Titanic.
I’ve never been able to get all worked up on the perceived need for ride hailing, ride sharing or whatever it’s called this week, and I still can’t. Maybe that’s a function of living in B.C.’s Interior but even here, politicians are lighting their hair on fire.
Down at the Coast, I can see ride hailing as a nice-to-have but hardly a necessity. Here at home in the colonies, it’s barely even that.
I very rarely have need for a taxi, even when visiting Vancouver, but it seems to me taxis are doing a good job in Kamloops. Keep in mind taxi companies have to meet rigorous standards and go through a detailed process to be allowed to operate.
They’re an essential part of the transportation system hereabouts, especially after hours. There are always stories about unfortunate experiences with taxis but this imagined desperate need for ride hailing arises more out of reaction to all the hype elsewhere than it does from real situations on the ground.
Ride hailing is tailor-made for major metropolitan centres where personal vehicles have become an inconvenient mode of commuting. In smaller cities like Kamloops, not so much.
I can just hear the trolls now — the Armchair Mayor is an idiot and a dinosaur and is obviously out of touch with modern reality. But if we all get ride hailing now, fine; if it’s later, that’s just fine, too.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.