Friday, August 22, 2008

Vestigial libertarian bones, cont.

Hey you there! Got a car? Going somewhere? I'm going there too! Maybe I could kick you some gas money, and we could share a ride?

Oops. We just broke the law.

Some days I think I live in the stupidest country on Earth. But this, now this could get interesting:
“Those are real dangerous operations. Those vans are not licensed, they’re not insured and don’t pass strict safety guidelines. PickupPal hasn’t picked up on the fact that their system can be abused,” he said.
Ah-hah. According to a spokesperson for an Ontario-based bus operator, the cars and vans on the road "don't pass strict safety guidelines." This is factually correct: you're much safer in a bus driven by a professional, licensed driver than you are driving yourself. And we know that the Ontario government is ridiculously concerned about commuter safety, because they continue to choke ZENN on red tape. And now we've got "credible" concerns about the safety of regular cars, too. Will the Ontario government jump on this threat to safety, posed by cars people already own?

To put it a bit more straight, it's true that cars and vans are not as safe as professionally-operated buses. But the government of Ontario, as well as the government of Canada, have recognized that they are safe enough -- see, there are levels of safety, and one needn't meet the most stringent criteria to be reasonably safe. The government of Ontario recognizes that cars and vans are safe enough for the conditions in which people drive them, but refuses to recognize the same with low-speed vehicles. Because, and this is really important, Dalton McGuinty's government doesn't have a fucking clue on this issue.

Oh, and if the government of Ontario seriously tries to shut PickupPal out of Ontario, I actually will be living in the stupidest jurisdiction in North America. C'mon Dalton, reach for that golden turd...


Mike said...

Typical of what a Conservative would call a "free market" - if your business model no longer works or is in trouble, run to the government and get subsidies, protection or new laws.

Conservative Nanny State, just like Dean Baker says....

Anonymous said...

Typical of what a Conservative would call a "free market"

Isn't McGuinty a Liberal though?

I feel that, as a US citizen, I might be missing something about this whole thing though - is a bus company REALLY as powerful as that Star article makes them out to be? That's something else. And it's just plain weird that they could or even would WANT to shut down something that encourages carpooling. Would it really eat into profits at all? Seriously?

Just ... weird.


Declan said...

Anon: The bus companies (greyhound, primarily) really are that powerful in Ontario.

A little history:

Allo-Stop (still going strong in Quebec)


Bus deregulation derailed (only the first couple of paragraphs are relevant