September 27, 2020

BY KATRINA EDLEFSEN
Taxi2Trying to save money is always on the minds of college students and sometimes the lure of a few extra dollars can lead them to try and earn money in some very unusual ways.
Around mid-September one such student who needed to both earn and save money came up with an unusual idea that was posted to the Conestoga College Facebook group. The post advertised a Friday and Saturday night taxi service that was being run entirely by students with fares costing 10 cents less per kilometre than a regular taxi.
This post quickly caught the attention of CSI president Jason Wright, who was quick to point out one of the major flaws in the idea.
“Unless he has a licence that states he is an authorized taxi service it is illegal to charge people to go from one location to another,” Wright posted to the group.
The legality of the whole idea was Wright’s first concern, his next issue with the idea was the fact that participating in an unlicensed program has risks for students as they would be riding in a vehicle that would have no insurance to cover their safety as a passenger in case of an accident.
“Would you drink at a bar that isn’t regulated?” Wright posted to the group. “Because this is pretty much the same thing … the idea is great if it’s legal … but if it’s not regulated then it’s the safety concern that has me worried for the students of Conestoga College.”
Conestoga College professor Carlo Sgro agreed fully with Wright and posed the big question: was saving money really worth a person’s safety?
“The travelling difference is 10 cents per kilometre,” Sgro posted. “You have to decide whether the savings is worth possibly not having insurance coverage if you get into an accident.”
School officials were not the only ones concerned with the whole idea. Many students also brought up very valid points, including second-year journalism broadcast student Kail Walters, who pointed out that the driver of the taxi would likely not be nearly as well trained as real taxi drivers.
“I’m not saying all parents are like mine, but I feel very confident, in saying my parent who has roughly 40 years of driving experience, is more experienced and safer than your drivers,” Walters posted.
Though the basic idea behind a student-run taxi is clever, it really turns into a lesson of ‘just because you can does not mean you should’ and that goes double for when it involves the safety of others.