In the past month, Edmontonians have been exposed to a series of back and forth debates on whether the use of the mobile app Uber, an alternative transportation service, should be outlawed. Recently, many taxi drivers across the city made their voices heard in a peaceful protest opposing Uber, fearing it will take business away from established taxi services. The City of Edmonton heard these outcries and issued a temporary motion to place an injunction on Uber until they meet city bylaws. In the meantime, Uber driver, if caught, can be slapped with a ticket for operating against this temporary bylaw.
As someone who has not personally used Uber, but am aware of its benefits and know people in my personal and professional life who have used the app to the utmost of positivity, I think that we may simply be prolonging the inevitable. As such, on Wednesday, January 28th 2015, Uber launched on online petition for Edmontonians to sign that is addressed to Edmonton’s City Council, highlighting statistics and benefits to having Uber become fully operational in Edmonton. By Wednesday evening, over 5,000 people had signed the petition.
Uber is offering the people of Edmonton a more reliable and trusted mode of transportation to get to and from business meetings, shopping centres, or just getting home from the bar on a Friday night. Allowing people to have options when it comes to their mode of transportation should be an informed choice they can make. As my shallow knowledge of politics comes out, I will say that if a service like Uber comes along, and theoretically overtakes conventional taxis, that’s the unfortunate/beneficial aspect of capitalism. When something better comes along, people will want it. I believe that Uber may very well be a step towards a future that is inevitable, might as well embrace it. If not, I guess we should all trade in our smartphones for flip phones, obviously.
Here is the petition page Uber developed for Edmonton.