Monday 6 July 2009

What do all world class cities have?

A Human Rights museum? No. A partial recreation of a fort in their downtown? No. An IKEA? Maybe, but that's not what I'm looking for.

The answer: An airport shuttle!

Yes, that wonderful little convenient service that takes you from your hotel to the airport and from the airport to your hotel. All the big cities have one, therefore Winnipeg should have one too!

Seriously though, I have used shuttles before and they are a relatively cheap and easy way to get between specific destinations. They are good. They offer visitors to the city an alternative to booking a taxi, which is exactly why the taxi companies are doing all they can to stop it.

In the latest development in the 2 year saga of Avion trying to get a shuttle service launched, both sides argued their case in front of the Public Utilities Board. The de facto taxi duopoly of Duffy's and Unicity, who fought just as hard to restrict competition within the taxi industry, are fighting to prevent competition from outside of the taxi business. First, by arguing that shuttles were actually taxis, and now by claiming that "the airport is already well-served by taxis", mere months after aguing to keep more taxis off the road.

This is a business that is truly disfunctional and over-regulated, to the detriment of the consumer. The PUB shouldn't be involved in this at all, but since the city charter requires it, they should do no more than a rubber stamp the city's approval and allow this shuttle to finally get off the ground. Don't allow the taxi maffia to rule the roads!


updates to my last post

> Two of the three young falcons started flying this weekend. Didn't notice if the third took off today, but she was staying put when I happened to check earlier.

> McPhelan is still an incompetent ass-hat and should be fired.

> Caught part of the Saturday Jazz Fest. Very good crowd and great weather. Bumped into Mr. Point from the NewWinnipeg forum. Looking forward to next year.

> Matt Hill made the cut in his first PGA tounament, the AT&T National. As an amateur he can't cash the cheque, but I'm sure there will be many more coming his way in the future.


Anonymous said...

Problem with the cabs is that they have overpaid for their licenses. of course, they don't want to lose money on their investment and will protect their turf.

Can't wait till the East indians / Africans throw up the discrimination argument.

cherenkov said...

They're trying to prevent competition to protect over-priced licenses, but the licenses are overpriced because supply is restricted. It's a circular argument.

unclebob said...

We should issue 100 more cab permits but we feel so sorry for everybody that we should just compensate all those fine people who overpaid - say $100,000 each to more or less even up the field.

It could easily be paid for by triple increases in cab fare

Unfortunately nobody will need meters anymore because no one will pay triple. That ought to do a bunch to support the underground economy

Whoops - I should not give our brilliant governing bodies such ideas

Somebody might try and implement this

cherenkov said...

Well you know ... when you have an NDP government, the solution to all problems is to spend more money! The existing cabbies can be compensated from the rainy day fund when the new licenses are issued. Everybody is happy.

Anonymous said...

Cab licences should have been leased by the cITY

But the reality is they are privately owned now.

`125 Million to "fix" the problem. Life's a bitch when bureaucrats are tasked to run a City.

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