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LETTERS: Strong case exists for ride-hailing in Surrey

Editor:

Open letter to Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum:

I must lend my voice in opposition to your claim that “Surrey doesn’t want ride-sharing.”

Who have you spoken with to come to this conclusion? Certainly, not the general public. My guess is that you have only spoken with the taxi drivers.

How have other cities around the world managed to have taxis and ride-sharing co-exist?

We travel to Boston frequently and have enjoyed using Uber there – even wheelchair vans that my husband requires.

Our son has done extensive travelling worldwide, and has used Uber in less-developed countries like Vietnam.

Ride-sharing provides the additional capacity to cover the unmet demand in Surrey.

In my opinion, you are encouraging drinking and driving by not having sufficient numbers of rides available, taxis or otherwise.

Friends of mine are business owners in Surrey, and as a responsible employer, encouraged their staff to take cabs to and from their annual Christmas party.

The cabs were so few and far between, some of their staff waited until past 2 a.m. for a ride home, which is completely unacceptable.

Perhaps the answer to this problem would be to compensate taxi drivers for the licensing fees that they have to pay, and/or allow taxis the ability to pick up additional fares out of other jurisdictions.

To simply say that “Surrey doesn’t want ride-sharing” is completely untrue and inflammatory.

A survey of 750 Surrey residents found 78 per cent in favour of ride-sharing, and the Surrey Board of Trade members voted “overwhelmingly” in support of it as well. Where are your numbers? I’ve seen nothing to support your claim.

I want the city to accept and encourage ride-hailing without the onerous restrictions you are placing on them.

Other cities can do it, why can’t Surrey?

Lisa McDougall, Surrey

•••

I have never used ride-hailing. I have used taxis, buses, SkyTrains, subways and my own car.

There will come a time when none of the above will work for me, and I would like to have the option of ride-hailing.

More and more, I am regretting having voted for Doug McCallum in light of his canal dream and his opposition to giving his constituents more choice in transportation.

Jerry Steinberg, Surrey

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