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

Uber Talks In CK: ‘Demand Drives Business’

The director of economic development in Chatham-Kent is working on a review of public transportation and thinks a service like Uber could be successful in such a wide-spread community.

However, Chatham-Kent’s Acting Director of Economic Development Stuart McFadden says the ridesharing service has not directly approached the municipality to discuss bringing its service here.

“I have not had any discussion with anyone from Uber with regards to looking at Chatham-Kent. I know that we are having internal meetings with looking at public transportation as a whole, but we have not had any discussion, to my knowledge, with Uber,” says McFadden.

Despite not having contacted the municipality, an Uber Chatham-Kent Twitter and Facebook page have been created in recent weeks, expressing interest in bringing its service to the community.

An administrator for the company’s Facebook page has also been in contact with BlackburnNewsCK.com about possibly arranging an interview in the coming weeks.

McFadden says the success of Uber potentially coming to the municipality would all depend on demand in the community.

“I think that demand drives business. If there is a demand for something like that, well then it would probably be successful. It all depends on whether or not people would use it,” says McFadden.

He says there are existing public transportation companies in Chatham-Kent, but they do not reach the “four corners” of the municipality.

“We are not a concentrated community like many others. We are 102,000 people, but it’s spread out over 2,500 sq km–which is a very unique situation. I think we need to look at public transportation, but we have to come up with a Chatham-Kent solution for a Chatham-Kent problem…and that is geography,” explains McFadden.

McFadden says the economic development department recently sat down with Radio Cabs, which officially shut down on December 31, 2017. He says they discussed challenges with the public transportation industry in the municipality. This information will be incorporated into a review that the department is currently working on.