Transportation policy

This is mostly a municipal and secondly a provincial matter but this article about the potential impact of UberPool on transportation policy raises challenges for this and future national governments, because, as the article says:

UberPool raises the stakes. Because it reduces price and increases volume, it suggests that if Uber ultimately succeeds, the company could have a much bigger impact on urban mobility, labor, the environment, local economies and the national transportation infrastructure than we’ve all supposed — and its effects could confound the expectations of its harshest critics.

LyftLine-DC-e1447282685853UberPool already operates in Toronto and it will, I am certain, expand to other (large enough) Canadians cities no matter what taxi owners and drivers (and their unions) and local, provincial and national governments might think. marcTransport Minister  Marc Garneau should jump into the fray sooner rather than later. He, as an experienced astronaut, knows that technology can change well established patterns, including patterns of behaviour. Services like UberPool can, I believe will, have a beneficial impact on the environment, too, by reducing the use of carbon emitting busses and cars. You blazed a trail to the future for Canadians once before, Minister Garneau … are you willing to do it again by showing leadership in the policy domain?

From the article, again:

In many cities, UberPool now accounts for more than half of Uber trips taken. In Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, more than 100,000 people take UberPool every week. In China, Uber is running 20 million UberPool trips a month.”

It seems pretty clear to me that UberPool, and services like it ~ and I’m sure there will be several competitors, will revolutionize the public transport model. This will be a HUGE challenge to local and provincial politicians but there is a national role, too, I believe, in facilitating experiments in policy ~ including transportation, labour and, indeed, health care policies. Reforming policies to allow for greater individual choice and flexibility and to encourage both saving options for provinces and cities, and environmentally friendly courses of action ought to be a core part of a Conservative Party platform for 2019.

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