To: Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board
CC: [shuttle company]
To responsible parties of the NSURB,
I have a complaint in regards to passenger shuttle licencing.
I have booked travel to PEI with the shuttle company [company] (for Monday morning, July 26th, 2010).
Their website's front page currently promulgates "Pick up/drop off at the door in metro Halifax (includes Bedford and Dartmouth)".
Great, right? I live in Bedford, so I can get picked up at my door, right?
No, because they called my house today (Sunday) and declared that they could not pick me up. This deflated my hopes, I'd made the reservation more than a week ago and was hoping they'd finally go for it. We've been through this dance several times in the past - I book, then they call me just before the date of travel and say they can't deliver.
Why is it that I can live in Bedford (93 Giles Drive) - the former town of Bedford, which extends up to the intersection of Hammonds Plains Road and Kearney Lake Road - and this is not deemed "Metro Halifax"? The operator claims their licence prohibits them from going under the Highway 102 overpass (over the Hammonds Plains Road). They also claim a similar restriction for the Armdale Rotary - they can't go any distance up the Herring Cove Road. That's a developed area, too.
I think these regulations are unfair. The shuttle company should be able to determine where they can pick up and drop off passengers, not your board. They should be able to decide how far they want to go - a simple cost/benefit calculation. Maybe I am too far out for it to be worth their while, but that should be left up to them to decide. I am a poor student - I'm trying not to spent inordinate amounts of money on cabs! Taking a cab from my house down to where the company will pick me up is usually usurious. Most companies also charge extra for the use of their trunk - even if you're willing to load and unload yourself. I have stuff to take with me, so the 25-minute walk is out of the question. There's also no bus service in my area on weekends and not that early in that direction even on weekdays - otherwise I might try to finagle my stuff unto an ALF bus. If I could get the shuttle to pick me up here, it would save me time, frustration, money (or begging someone for a drive before 7am). Taxis are a solution for the wealthy, and why they need special government protection beyond a place to park is a mystery to me.
I've accepted the company's offer of being picked up at a Tim Horton's in the vicinity of Hammonds Plains Road and Bedford Highway. My mother will drive me down to the corner, but I had reasons for not wanting to involve her. Your regulations are helping me be less independent, not more.
- William Matheson