Kater Kab – Ride Hailing or Ride Failing?

A new ride-hailing app will be test launched on March 30, 2019 as a last-ditch attempt for a struggling Vancouver ‘tech company’ to recover its losses. Previously everything from Hatchimals to local talent has been exploited to no avail and now its time for a new approach… as if trying to getting a taxi in the Lower Mainland isn’t already frustrating enough… why not force a Smartphone App upon the public and make things really convoluted.

One thing that definitely sets Kater apart from the rest is their inability to provide any real-world benefits of the service from a public perspective. In an interview on the Vancouver Sun Website, Corrie Larson, a director of communications for Kater Technologies, does not help with clearing the smoke of confusion.

Larson seems to struggle with highlighting any benefits as to why anyone would want to use Kater’s Taxi service. Larson falls back into a safety net by stating that, “…the app is easy to use, completely reliable, and simple.” Is it completely reliable when you need a cab and your phone is dead but you can’t just simply use a pay phone to call a kater cab because all cars MUST be accessed through the app. Is attempting to install and download the app as simple as typing #TAXI on your phone? Maybe some people don’t generalize apps as being “simple” at all. Larson also falls back on the fact that cars are “New…” and “…Clean” and “…Safe!”. Correct me if I’m wrong but are these not things that should be normally expected with any transportation service? This is not a pioneered service! Besides, who is she to speak out on the safety of a vehicle that she has not personally participated in the production of… Define safe? Sounds like a loss for words to me. Is she the director of communications for Kater or is she the spokeswoman for Toyota?

In the interview, Larson states that the vehicles are all “Brand New”, “Owned By Kater”, and “Insured by Kater”… and operated by “Kater trained drivers.” Okay, are they a tech company, an insurance broker, or a driver training school? Are the cars “Insured by Kater” or are they insured by Kater’s taxi insurance which is provided by ICBC. You gotta’ love the play on words to make this out to be something that it is not. Exactly how, when, and by whom is the driver training provided? Are they trained by the same group that trained the Taxi driver who sexually assaulted a BC woman early in March of 2019? The public deserves to hear more about Kater’s alleged qualifications for ‘professionally’ training drivers who will be transporting the general public.

To add insult to injury, Larson carries on about the Hybrid Technology of the cars and how this make them ‘eco-friendly’. Are we taxi drivers, rides for hire, an insurance company, driver trainers… or environmental activists? I wonder if the vehicles are ‘animal friendly’ according to PETA’s standards? Lots of people own hybrid cars and lots of people have many complaints about them… its just a car! Also, bragging that the cars are owned by Kater probably isn’t a the best selling point. I own my car… and it’s insured… jump in! The entire interview was completely irrelevant to exactly what makes Kater such a great option. Personally, while waiting for a cab, I would rather do something more constructive like read a book or talk to a friend instead of staring at my phone to watch my cab getting stuck in a traffic jam. Actually… this is great because now when you realize that your car is stuck in traffic you can just call another company or ride share with your friends… then you can file a dispute on your credit card and claim that you never ordered the service. I wonder if allowing customers to see how much longer they will be waiting is really a wise marketing angle. Back in the days you called a cab and waited…. PERIOD!

“Ride Hail”, or “Ride Fail”… You decide. Does this city really need another convoluted method to grease the palms of the Taxi Cartel or should we be giving the options which are provided by other services such as Uber or Lyft? Is Kater really a great new innovation or is just another way to force us to use a standard taxi and call it something new? I’m not oppose to a company trying to be innovative by creating an app to find a taxi but seriously… don’t try to claim that it’s a brand new innovation when other companies have already pioneered the concept and are creating fair employment opportunities instead of backing us into a technological corner.

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