The Dispatch: March 2022
This month, we cover neverending transit, rock stars doing road work, and how gas prices are impacting… everything.
Welcome back to the Dispatch, Onlia's monthly dive into the intersection of transportation, tech, and everything else you need to know about safety. Hosted by Alex Kelly, Onlia's road safety expert, this month we're looking at never-ending transit, rock stars doing road work, and how gas prices are impacting... everything.
Toronto's city council is embroiled in a battle with the city's taxi fleet, with drivers claiming the city's stance on rideshare services is "terrorizing" the cab drivers. This ongoing dispute has been brewing for years, with the operations manager from Beck Taxi claiming there is a double standard between taxi drivers and their rideshare counterparts. While services like Uber and Lyft can recruit drivers with a clean record and tip-top ride, taxi services must undergo more comprehensive licensing and training, all after purchasing a purpose-built taxi. The fees are high, and the standards vary — hard to tell if the city and drivers will ever find common ground.
In what feels like a repeat in the news, the Ontario government is still launching ambitious transit plans to connect the province. Conveniently timed for a pre-election spending spree, the province has committed to a 30-year plan that includes a band of transit stretching across the north end of Toronto and throughout southern Ontario. This new addition aims to connect the yet-to-be-built Ontario Line to Pearson Airport, making it easy to jet off to an escape from all the rest of the transit construction in the province. Details are still hazy on other transit improvements, pricing, and feasibility, but they've got thirty years to figure it out if all goes to plan.
Government is all about figuring it out, and the federal government is still scratching its head about how to best move forward with its electric vehicle plans. As we've recently reported, the Canadian government has pledged that half of the new cars sold in Canada must be zero-emission by 2030, and five years later, all new cars sold must be zero-emission. Problem is, they're not sure how to best tackle the promise, including auto sector production and charge station infrastructure. At a time when Canadians are crying at the gas pumps, the solution to this predicament can't come soon enough.
As the world starts to emerge from a pandemic fog, the data on collisions in Toronto is coming in, and it's… favourable?! The city reports that car crashes significantly declined during lockdown — while not shocking given the roads weren't full, this is still a great headline. However, another recent headline revealed that many speeding drivers in Toronto aren't actually ticketed for their bad behaviour. I guess this means we can't give all city drivers that top Onlia Sense score just yet.
The increase in gas prices isn't just giving drivers headaches — your next Uber Eats delivery may also give you sticker shock. The rideshare and delivery company has added a temporary fuel surcharge to counteract the skyrocketing fuel prices in Canada. Provisionally in play for sixty days, the company will assess whether to continue the $0.35 increase on Eats and $0.50 upcharge on Rides.
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Paparazzi recently caught Grammy winner, Rod Stewart, filling potholes in the road near his British home. Sick and tired of the cavernous gaps, the musician took it upon himself to repair the damage, because, as Stewart says, "no one else can be bothered to do it."
Municipal fixes can take an unbelievably long time to coordinate, leaving some residents as desperate as Stewart. Frustration aside, the potholes can also damage your vehicle, impacting elements like alignment and tire health. However, if a pothole damages your car, don't feel that a DIY solution is the only option.
Optional auto insurance coverage covers that damage, and in the event of a claim, your insurance provider will likely connect with the city for reimbursement. These cases can be difficult to pursue with the municipal office, but there is a course of action to follow – check your policy to ensure you're covered.
Should you hit a pothole the wrong way, keep track of the location, even snapping a photo of the offending hole if it's safe to do so. Chat with your insurance provider to figure out the best way to mend your vehicle — it may look a little different than Rod Stewart's approach.
This one may be nothing to wine about. An LCBO truck in the trendy Liberty Village neighbourhood of Toronto recently experienced quite a spill.
The street was flooded with red wine after a skid of vino boxes toppled from the delivery truck. Luckily, no one was hurt, and the sommelier-wannabes in the neighbourhood kept their distance.