Uber. (Photo by © Can Stock Photo / makidotvn)

Uber Still On The Table In Chatham-Kent

Chatham-Kent’s mayor says it is time to start having more “progressive talks” about bringing Uber to the municipality.

In 2015, Mayor Randy Hope told BlackburnNewsCK.com that he saw no need for the ride-sharing program in the municipality because he saw no issues with the community’s existing public transportation system.

Mayor Hope says he was never against Uber, he just had his reservations about it.

“When Uber first came out, everybody wanted to jump on the bandwagon… but there were some concerns that were being raised on a provincial level with those cities that had it. I think a lot of things are starting to get ironed out as to what some of the concerns were about making sure those behind the wheel were safe and that the community would be safe in utilizing that service,” says Hope.

Mayor Hope says his mind is more at ease now that these issues have been cleared up.

“I think because I’m looking at this with a little bit different lens than I did in the past because some of those concerns were erased and fixed, I think now we can have more progressive talks as to how do we utilize it to make sure people can get around Chatham-Kent a little easier,” says Hope.

Now that Radio Cabs has announced it is in closing in Chatham, Mayor Hope says he is seriously looking at how to increase and better utilize the network of public transportation services in Chatham-Kent and the possibility of Uber is one element of it.

“Whether the cab company was leaving or not, I think it’s something that we need to look at is how does it fit in the mix across the municipality of Chatham-Kent. Not always do we have services like these in smaller communities,” says Hope.

Mayor Hope says Uber has never made any effort to contact the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

“If they would have come and talked about a business case and business analysis in past months, we may have looked at things a little different… would we like to have something? Well we’d only like to have it if it’s being offered, and it’s not being offered,” says Hope.

Hope adds that the business will only work in Chatham, if the community wants it.

“Every business case is developed on demand. If the demand is there, then services will exist. If the demand is not there, then services won’t exist,” says Hope.