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Cabbie complaints baseless
The cab companies’ dispute with the Penticton Indian Band over who gets to drive people back from the channel float seems quite unwarranted on the part of the companies and sounds very much like a group wanting to cash in on a success story achieved by somebody else.
Coyote Cruises has indeed been in operation for a long time.
It was here when I moved to the area 23 years ago though it wasn’t then owned by the PIB.
As Chief Kruger points out too, the cab companies are operating on band lands so that the band is doing them a favour by letting them come to pick up customers without the latter having called for the cab, a rather different situation.
The suggestion that Coyote Cruises not charge for the bus ride until people are picked up could mean lost time and more work for drivers who would have to collect money from everyone.
As well, if the price for those floating down on their own devices is different from that charged for Coyote Cruises customers – a reasonable situation – it would be hard to differentiate the two groups.
It is standard practice in my experience for one to be charged for a whole activity on signing up, not in bits and pieces.
I very much doubt it would make any significant difference to the numbers of customers the cab companies get anyway as individual vehicles can’t compete with a large bus. That’s simple economies of scale.
If people object to waiting for the bus, they can certainly call or take a cab. Since the float is a recreational activity, few are likely to be in so much of a hurry as to pay four times the cost.
Regarding the division of the spoils the cab company alleges from the past, I don’t recall many people floating all the way to Skaha until quite recently.
If my memory serves me correctly then, there wouldn’t have been a great deal of business in that for the cabs until the last few years.
It sounds very much as though the cab companies would just like to cash in on the expanded largesse of more people going right to Skaha rather than what they intimate, that Coyote Cruises has somehow violated an unwritten agreement about who picks up whom and where.
I wouldn’t blame the PIB one bit if they simply said that the cab companies can only pick up people on band land who call for them, but they are much more likely to try for some reasonable compromise.
For starters, how about the cab companies getting off their high horse.