Uber’s been in the news lately, and not all of the publicity has been good. The ride-sharing company has been suffering from backlash after suggesting it was responsible for reducing the rate of impaired driving incidents in California, and the police are taking a stand against the claims with a few facts of their own. Why does this matter for Canadians? Uber is trying to inch their way into British Columbia, and this backlash may make it that much harder for the company to come to Canada.
Uber is only 2.5 years old, but in that time they’ve taken their market by storm. Thousands of people opt to contact Uber via their app when they need a sober driver or just a ride instead of drinking and driving, and that’s one of the reasons why the Province of British Columbia doesn’t want them to come to Vancouver.
Although Vancouver is in dire need of better transportation options, the taxi industry doesn’t want to share that market with Uber. Uber’s response has been to ask people to sign a petition to bring Uber to Vancouver, and they even have a Twitter account to promote their cause.
But will the Vancouver campaign be affected by the backlash over the California drinking and driving claim? Police in California want the public to know, if there is a reduction in drunk driving rates at all, it’s not just because of Uber. Police in San Francisco have even come out to say there hasn’t been a drop in drunk driving rates at all.
The bottom line is that Uber does provide a great service, and even if it keeps one person from putting their keys in the ignition after drinking, it has done a good job. Whether or not that’s enough to overcome the objections of the Province of British Columbia and Vancouver’s taxi industry remains to be seen.