p2pnet news view Freedom | P2P:- With all the attention on greenhouse gases, melting polar ice, dwindling fossil fuels, and so on, you’d think anybody with any sense would be trying to promote energy conservation.
However, Trentway-Wagar, based in Peterborough, Ontario, apparently doesn’t think green.
PickupPal says it was launched online to help people reduce their carbon footprints.
It’s simple, and it’s all about P2P sharing. With about 15,000 registered users in Ontario and organising some 100 rides a day, the site operates in the same way as off-line carpools.
People who are going to the same place share rides, reducing the number of exhaust emitting vehicles on the road, cutting back on dwindling gas reserves and saving money, and all at the same time.
But Trentway-Wagar, a subsidiary of Coach Canada and owner of fleets of gas guzzling, gas belching buses, sees carpools as competition and wants PickupPal taken down, alleging it’s, “in violation of several sections of the Public Vehicles Act, which governs any company where money is exchanged for a public transportation service,” says the Globe and Mail.
“We’re caught in a bit of a bind,” it has PickupPal CEO John Stewart saying, “There’s a disconnect between the antiquated laws and carpooling companies who are trying to help environmental goals.”
Trentway-Wagar claims the company is in violation of several sections of the Public Vehicles Act, which governs any company where money is exchanged for a public transportation service, says the story.
Stewart’s mother is Christine Stewart, Canada’s former environment minister.
On Save PickupPal in Ontario, she says it’s the only surviving rideshare program in Ontario, going on »»»
On May 20th 2008, bus company Trentway-Wagar, a subsidiary of an international corporation, challenged the legitimacy of PickupPal under the Public Vehicles Act as administered by the OHTB and delivered notice to appear before the Board for a hearing on this matter on October 15th, 2008. Similar ridesharing organizations operating in Ontario who have appeared before the OHTB have been shut down. Bus companies enjoy a variety of subsidies in Ontario, including unencumbered access to HOV lanes: “All buses will be permitted to use the HOV lanes at all times regardless of the number of occupants to ensure reliable and on-time bus service and to allow them to return to the beginning of their routes more quickly and consistently.”
I am urging you as a fellow Ontarian and as a responsible environmental citizen to fill out the petition below in support of PickupPal`s service. Any law which may permit the OHTB to disallow rideshare programs like PickupPal’s must, for the sake of certainty, be amended. I will be hand-delivering your returned forms to Premier Dalton McGuinty before the hearing is to take place.
In McGuinty`s own words: “Climate change is the defining issue of our generation but we have more to do together. By putting Ontario at the forefront of green innovation we can meet our responsibility to the generations to come.” and “tackling gridlock is one of the most important things we can do to build a strong and prosperous economy.”
“The safety board has ruled against two other companies in the past, shutting down similar carpooling services in 1999 and 2001,” says the Globe and Mail, adding:
“Quebec’s allostop.ca, for instance, was forced to shut down its Ontario offices in 2001 after complaints by three bus companies.’
If you live in the Trentway-Wagar area, you know what not to do.
. .Stumble It!
Globe and Mail – Carpooling company offers illegal service, bus firm complains 21, August , 2008
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