Coquitlam councillor calls for rideshare during busy holiday season

Dec 29 2018, 1:22 am

A Coquitlam City Councillor is calling for rideshare to come sooner, especially with the incredible demand for transportation during the busy holiday season.

Teri Towner volunteers for Operation Red Nose (ORN), a volunteer-run initiative that gives “no questions asked” rides home to any drivers and their passengers that feel unfit to drive.

The ICBC-based operation runs on Friday and Saturday nights over the course of the holiday season, and donations are graciously accepted, with funds typically raised for local youth sports and other not-for-profits.

Towner says that the service is needed because there simply aren’t enough cabs on the road to handle the demand of drinkers over the Christmas holidays.

“A main reason ORN is needed is because of the outdated, supply-managed taxi monopoly,” Towner wrote in a Facebook post. “There simply aren’t enough taxis on the roads on Friday and Saturday nights — peak times for revellers and (sadly) for impaired drivers.”

Towner also shares the tremendous waits that some of her passengers endure in order to secure a cab or an ORN. She also touches on the risks that drivers are constantly making.

“We run into people who have waited hours to find a safe ride home… we realize that some of those who can’t get a cab or an ORN team will make the wrong choice,” Towner writes. “Hopefully, they’ll make it home safely or get stopped by police before they hurt someone.”

She’s pushing to have ridesharing to be brought to the region faster, in order to get more drunk drivers off the road.

“By restricting the supply of rides/taxis, and by prohibiting ride-hailing services like UBER and Lyft, we’re putting lives at risk.”

You can read Towner’s full Facebook post here.

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