International ride-share website probed in B.C.
This is the Sun trying to get some local traction on an Ontario story. There the Ontario Highway Transportation Board ruled based on some very antiquated law originally designed to protect streetcars from jitneys. Our legislation treats car pools more reasonably, but even so it is not so long ago that the then Motor Carrier Commission was hearing complaints about soccer mums who share gas money, and a miner who bought an old school bus to help his workmates cut the cost of their journey to work.
The web page this morning sent out this email
Dear Valued PickupPal Member,
We have been told by the Ontario Highway Transportation Board (OHTB) to cease operating PickupPal’s online service in Ontario immediately. It is now illegal to rideshare in Ontario unless you meet ALL of the following criteria:
* You must travel from home to work only
* You cannot cross municipal boundaries
* You must ride with the same driver each day
* You must pay the driver weekly only
This is a disappointment to us as we put a lot of time and effort into trying to keep this practical and green service online for you, our valued Ontario users. We do encourage the continued use of PickupPal if you can conform to these criteria.
Please pass this information on to any friends and family who may be interested in our service or this situation – http://www.pickuppal.com/pup/refer.html.
We are encouraged that there may be legislation coming soon which may change the laws allowing PickupPal to continue operating as is.
The law that tries to protect long distance bus services in Ontario obviously needs revision. In BC it and taxis are now the responsibility of the Passenger Transport Board (successors to the MCC) but much of the old protectionism still guides the legislation. This means people who do not have cars have to rely on some very expensive inter city bus services as there is no other way. I think a regime that was designed to defend the broad public interest, in terms of ease of movement and reducing emissions, would make more sense than defending the interests of a few companies.