On The Coast

Uber fan Kyle MacDonald gives free taxi rides in Vancouver via Twitter

Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald wants to bolster support for ride-share program Uber by offering free rides through his Twitter handle.

Blogger thinks independent cabs are such a great idea, he's giving people rides for free

Kyle MacDonald poses with his free taxi. He says driving around in a rooster suit is more fun than not driving around in a rooster suit. (Liam Britten)

He's the coq of the cab.

It's almost a week since Kyle MacDonald started giving away free rides in Vancouver to promote the advantages of for-profit ride-share program Uber.

Dressed — ahem — as a rooster.

  • MacDonald is contacted for rides through his Twitter handle @YesFreeTaxi. On mobile? View his account here.

"I kinda want to have a bit of fun with it," he told CBC News Tuesday.

MacDonald is no stranger to the power of social media, being the man behind 2005's One Red Paperclip blog, where he traded up from the aforementioned clip, to a house in just 14 online trades within a year.

Now he's turned his attention to the thorny issue of taxi transportation, something, he says, that is a serious issue affecting many people.

"There's great technology that allows these seats to be utilized," he says, noting it's not only Uber, but those such as Lyft and Sidecar, offering similar services.

"Unfortunately in Vancouver, we're not able to use any of these whatsoever, because of archaic industry regulations and an extremely powerful taxi lobby that does not want to lose its monopoly."

On a Reddit Ask Me Anything Tuesday, MacDonald wrote: "I'm an urban transportation geek and the state of Vancouver's options for app-based on-demand non-drive-yourself transportation options like taxis and ride share services is totally wack."

Independent taxi services like Uber are allowed in over 200 cities worldwide, but Vancouver is not one of them.

Cab companies are against it and so are governments at the provincial and municipal levels. They say that letting independents into the market would compromise safety and service.

MacDonald says he's given over fifty rides since he started on Nov.12.

"There's no end date. As long as it's fun I will continue."

With files by Liam Britten

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.