Friday, February 15, 2008

Ottawa cabbies won't smile for the cameras

Ottawa cabbies, it seems, are camera shy. The City of Ottawa wants to pass a bylaw to place cameras in cabs -- ostensibly for the public's and cabbies' protection. The cabbies don't like it. They call them "spy" cameras.
I wonder why cabbies don't want to be scrutinized?
Let me relate a scenario. I was talking to the owner of my local pizza joint recently. She tells me her delivery drivers will soon be equipped with wireless Interac machines. That way, when the pizza delivery person arrives, you can pay for your pizza with your debit card. My point here is the technology exists.
Now, whenever I have taken a cab from downtown Ottawa to the suburbs -- at least a $50-$60 cab ride (which is ludicruous in itself), the cabbie has insisted on cash. This hasn't happened just once. It has always been the case; regardless of my asking to pay by credit card (let alone having the opportunity to pay by the wireless Interac machine). They want cash. In fact, the last time I took this trek, the cabbie took me to a bank machine before he took me home. His insistence! He didn't want my credit card.
So why do they insist on cash for these higher-priced fares? So why don't they want cameras in their cabs? I don't know. I'm just sayin'.
But always having to pay cash makes me angry.

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