My two cents
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#Taxi Wars, #Uber and the Cost of Living — My Two Cents

My two cents

The battle of the taxis are going on in Toronto. The taxi companies want to get rid of Uber. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Uber, they are an alternative taxi service whereby, you download the app on your phone, fill out your info, insert a method of payment, and when you need a taxi you go to your app and order someone to pick you up, and pay a lot less than you would for a regular taxi. There are also bonus promo codes which can get you free rides. In fact, at the end of this post, I will advertise my coupon code if anybody would like to look into signing up for the service (available in many countries), and you can plug in my code and get $20.00 free added to your account.

I drive my own car, so I don’t find these Uber wars particularly bothersome, although Uber comes in handy for quick jaunts to the subway – cheaper than parking my car there. But I thought I’d offer my two cents about the situation.

Let’s face it my fellow Torontonians here, the cost of living here for everything from food to housing is getting out of control. The price of food, which I can justly speak out on, has gone up so much in just this past year alone. Some products (such as my favourite, almond butter) HAS DOUBLED! It makes me wonder, is there suddenly a shortage of almonds? I don’t think so! But people are learning about getting healthier and almond butter has been given a lot more publicity in the last few years, so of course, the greedmongers have to capitalize on it.

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Contents of groceries have shrunk dramatically, yet the prices keep rising. Foreign investors have driven up the prices of real estate here so much that they aren’t even realistic. Starter homes are a thing of the past, or one would have to move to the far north outside the city to find something for under a half a million dollars! A new couple just starting out in life together, barely have a chance to get involved in the housing market. The banks have been very cautious, holding off from raising mortgage rates for an unprecedented amount of time, oddly, for a city with everything going up, up, to avoid a situation like what happened to the United States, not so long ago.

At a ridiculous rate of under 2%, mortgage rates fluctuate, depending on lock in term. That is the enticing feature for those who have managed to get into the market. People have stretched themselves to the max just to jump into the market and have a home at a half decent rate. The banks know very well, that many people are at their max budget currently, to enable them to keep their homes. If rates even double to 4% or less, which is still ridiculously low, for an average person paying $1000-2000 dollars a month, their payment will double! Many would have to sell their homes, which in turn would create the overdue bursting of the real estate bubble, and the banks would have to start owning many homes, all of which they are avoiding doing by leaving the rate alone. But seriously, it can’t go on much longer, and once again we will have a housing crash.

And so, now we have the taxi wars.

 

Taxis are ridiculously expensive, our streets are over-populated with cars, not enough highways to accommodate them, construction closings on a daily basis, which leaves an overflow of traffic scouring for alternate routes and therefore cluttering so many streets. These taxi meters click away at lightning speed as they endeavor to take us to our destinations at a snail’s pace. Enter Uber. In many cases, a fare will cost almost half of the price of a regular taxi. I say Uber is a smart commodity available to those drowning in expenses and have to get around.

 

 

Greed has taken over so largely in this city, it’s almost as though we may soon have to pay for the polluted air we breathe. If corporations don’t want to stop gauging consumers, we have every right to get the best bang for our buck and if I need a taxi, I too will be using Uber.

It’s not up to us struggling tax payers to worry about corporations making enough money. It’s up to our government to stop the greed. They need to stop taxing companies to the max, so they in turn can stop gauging the consumers.

Anyone like to add their two cents?

 

PS: My promotion code for Uber is debbyg44ue if anyone signs up to Uber and uses my code, they will get $20 added to their account. As well, once you sign up, you will get your own promotion code that you can share, and the people who use your code, you will in turn get $20 added to your own accounts for every person who joins and enters your code!

Now that’s what I call good business sense!

DGKaye©2015

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

18 Comments

  • marianbeaman

    You prove that it’s possible to be generous and out-spoken at the same time. Good for you! I wonder how many of your readers will take you up on the offer. Your key image with the dollar sign is great. Is it a Google image?

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Marian. You know I can be very opinionated, especially when it comes to injustice.
      I get many of my photos from photobucket.com

  • Carol Balawyder

    Greed has taken over so largely in this city, it’s almost as though we may soon have to pay for the polluted air we breathe.
    I love your sense of humour, Debby. 🙂

  • Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    Fantastic Debby and spot on.. It is not just Toronto or Canada that is in the grips of the large commercial lobby.. they create a need cheaply then hike up the costs once they have you hooked.. such as first year credit card and banking terms.. We have a choice and unfortunately not everyone sees the manipulative face of marketing in products from food to finance.. I say Uber has got a great business plan and Taxi firms need to move with the times like all of us and get with the programme.. People vote with their feet too.

    • dgkaye

      I’m glad you are in agreement Sally. There are still many who don’t agree. And so far, it’s looking like our government is not condoning Uber. 🙁

        • dgkaye

          Truth Sally. Hence we have the jealousy wars, and I’m thinking in the end us, the consumer is going to lose out by having Uber thrown out. 🙁

  • Let's CUT the Crap!

    There’s a dog fight in my city as well to keep Uber out. Taxi drivers’ insurance has skyrocketed here and business would decrease for them with this new convenience. It’s a Catch 22.
    I have my own car but it is more convenient to take a taxi sometimes. Uber would be a nice choice.

    • dgkaye

      Yes Tess, I think Canada is having a harder time accepting Uber than the U.S. Taxi’s are charged so much for their licence, insurance, etc., and naturally the consumers (us) pay for that in return. If our government would stop taxing the hell out of everyone and everything we do, other competition may be able to stand a chance. So far it seems that Uber is not condoned.

  • Aquileana

    I have heard that things are heating up in Canada when it comes to prices and so on….
    Canada is probably like living in Europe and traveling to Canada is more expensive than doing so to Italy… Or quite!….
    The Uber issue might be a sign of al this…
    Here in Argentina taking a taxi downtown is also very expensive… As soon as you get into it you charged U$S 3…. and then you pay per time…
    hat we call remise is an alternative option… In that case you pay per distance… But remises are not available in Buenos Aires downtown….
    You are kind to provide your promotion code for Uber!… Maybe it could help someone over there! … (not a homeless though!)
    Love and best wishes Aquileana 😀
    PS> Two questions for you: Have the salaries raised as well? and what does Uber mean? (it sound like a german word o_O )

      • dgkaye

        Thanks for sharing your cabs here, and a glimpse of your lovely city. We actually have several cab companies here, all of them have their own distinct colours. 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for sharing how it works in Argentina my friend. Yes, the taxis start here at over $3 too before you begin to move. Toronto is a very expensive place to live. The taxes don’t end, and no, the salaries do not equate with the cost of living here. It seems our government is not much different in some respects to the U.S. Both countries are doing a great job of trying to wipe out the middle class.
      As for Uber, I’m with you, I believe it’s a German word, relating to the word ‘great’. Thanks for your interest Aq. xo

  • olganm

    When I was in Barcelona last, a few weeks ago, they were having the same issue with Uber and the taxi drivers were blocking the streets, creating more havoc than usual. I live in a small town and the cost of living is lower than in a city, although of course the commodities are not the same (and it’s difficult to get by and do everything you need if you don’t have a car as you’d have to go to the bigger city for certain things). I live in the UK and I’ve noticed the hyke on prices here too. Well, and in Spain.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Olga for sharing this. It’s interesting to know that Uber is getting flack in other places as well as here in Canada.
      With the rising costs of everything, I think it’s only fair that consumers should have a choice. And on the other hand, I know Uber is hurting the taxi industry, but this is hugely to blame by the governments who tax the cab services to death, which in turn makes them have to raise their fees, for us to pay. It’s a vicious circle. 🙂

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