The Ottawa Standoff was Preventable

 

John Bliss
John Bliss

Before covid vaccinations became available, truckers, like soldiers in wartime, took the calculated risk of infection by transporting vital goods and food across the country and stateside.   Many truckers were casualties throughout 2020, and as such are our heroes.

As Justin Trudeau is undoubtedly aware, 90% of the truckers promptly got vaccinated as soon as possible.  He is also aware that the remaining 10% who for one reason or another, chose to continue working with the calculated risk of an already abating chance of infection and giving it to others.

All the foregoing leads to the next question: Given that the freight transportation system already in place was working rather well, why in blazes did the prime minister find it necessary to force truckers loaded with Canadian bound goods from the U.S. into two weeks of isolation and thereby reducing available trucks and cutting their meager incomes in half.

In other words, both U.S and Canadian governments chose to cut a trucker’s already meager income in half if he should dare carry a load across the border.

Forced isolation was the spark that ignited the truckers’ revolt and the Freedom Convoys crossing North America and elsewhere.  It is the product of a growing culture of elitism with society’s failing leadership of all political stripes.

For example, Ottawa’s cab drivers must cope with substantial broker’s fees and usurious insurance premiums notwithstanding the refusal of their brokers to allow their drivers to work.  The City of Ottawa — the same city locked down by the Freedom Bear Hug convoy, responded to their concerns with their usual big yawn and empathy as they listen to truckers honk their horns.

To end the Ottawa standoff, all the prime minister had to do was follow the example of the 14 year old King Richard ll who in June 1381 met with the peasants who were far more dangerous than today’s truckers, face to face and listen to them voice their concerns and proposals as that young King had done 600 years ago.  He even put in writing his acceptance of all the peasants’ proposals which are now in the British archives.

The establishment’s culture of elitism is the source of the current truckers’ uprising and that has got to change.

John Bliss©2022

ONE UNIVERSAL APP — A BOON FOR CUSTOMERS AND CABBIES

JOHN BLISS

Hailing a cab is now easier with one single universal app on your smartphone that hails the cab that’s physically closest to you no matter where you are in any city, any country, or your favorite watering hole at home or elsewhere.  You can even flag a nearby cab with such an app on an isolated dirt road in the country where your car just ran out of gas.

It won’t matter which cab company is involved as long as the driver or his company is registered with the app.  Clearly, new technology such as this is a godsend for the travelling public who need such transportation in as timely a fashion as humanly possible with a well trained professional driver behind the wheel.

Travelers want such a service for reasons that are obvious and so do most drivers but with taxi brokers—especially large taxi companies in big cities, it is quite another story.  They are steadfastly opposed to it and it seems anything else for that matter that would benefit the customer.  They are quite content to have unwashed, ill-educated persons driving a run down rust bucket arriving two hours after the customer placed the call.  They are afraid that such technology or centralized dispatching as it’s often called will kill competition and put them out of business.

Let’s examine some of the advantages and disadvantages of such dispatching:

1: COMPETITION AND DRIVER CONTROL:

Effective competition is in reality more between drivers than cab companies themselves.

For example: A customer voices concerns to a company about a driver’s unsatisfactory service and decides not to use that company again.  She now calls a competing company in the hope of getting better service than the previous company, only to have the same miscreant driver show up at her door.  The first company fired the driver over complaints and he merely starts work with the second company.  So much for interbroker competition.

Effective driver control is undoubtedly what distinguishes good companies from bad ones but owing to the forgoing reasons, it is no guarantee of customer safety and satisfaction.

A universal app with its filtration system can easily deal with that kind of problem easily.  Such apps allow the customer, on completion of the trip to rate the driver, usually on a 5 star system.  Five stars means the customer would be glad to have that driver transport her again.  That means such a driver would be sent before others are considered if he is close enough.  A single star signifies that a drivers as described above would not be sent.

 Government regulators employ taxi inspectors who handle any and all comments about service and will investigate complaints, particularly more serious ones, and are considered peace officers.  In Calgary and most other cities simply dial 311 to voice your comments on a driver’s performance.  

2:  SETTING FARES:

Modern taxi apps can now do something else:  Calculate the fare and collect the fare in advance as other transportation modes do.

When a customer hails a cab through an app and enters his or her destination, the required fare appears on the screen and the customer then accepts or rejects the service offer prior to dispatching a cab.

Even cash and random street hails can handle such a metering method.  What’s important here is you have a happy customer with fewer incidents of taxi fraud.

It’s obvious that such technology has completely upended public transportation, particularly the taxi/limousine industry in general.  And unless the taxi industry gets into the 21st century, it will undoubtedly go the way of the dinosaur.

ProCabby is the only company that has the technology to offer the sort of services described above.  Customers don’t want their smartphone screens cluttered with numerous apps offering identical services.

The taxi industry will make a lot more money when they put the customer’s interests first and led the driver earn a respectable living.

ProCabby’s technology will achieve exactly that!

 

OTTAWA TAXIS TO BE UNINSURED NEXT MONTH?

OTTAWA: CTV NEWS : Owing to the Coronus-19 pandemic, Ottawa faces the prospect of no taxi service whatsoever at this month’s end thanks to Coventry Connections handling of the severe reduction of the city’s taxi fleet due to a severe drop in business.

Coventry Connections is the company that controls the overwhelming majority of Ottawa’s taxi fleet through its subsidiary brokers—namely BLUE LINE,  CAPITAL TAXI  and WESTWAY TAXI.

Coventry Connections is suspending an important part of its broker fees or stand rent that is charged to its drivers, namely various financial services to its drivers for which they are paying  Coventry’s fees, namely liability insurance—the single largest portion of their stand rent costs.

Effective at the end of this month, driver-owners were told their insurance with Traveler’s Insurance—one of a handful of companies that will insure taxi fleets let alone single car or small fleet operators, is to be terminated, purportedly for arrears in insurance premiums.

Cab drivers are now expected to provide their own insurance.  Drivers may continue operations with Coventry in the unlikely event they can prove to regulators and the company that they have adequate insurance for their cabs.

Taxi insurance rates in most jurisdictions, cost as much as $12,000 per year per car to fleets and usually, though not always, unavailable to single car Owner Operators.

Most taxi drivers will likely be forced off the road entirely as such premiums are unaffordable to drivers especially when required to pay the full amount at the beginning of coverage without severe indebtedness.

Beginning in June 2020 there’s a very real possibility that Ottawa will have no taxi service at all.