Well, I’m on my lunch break and I finally have time to catch up on a nice, relaxing bit of Jersey news….
Christ on a bike. What the heck happened!? I look away for two minutes and some absolute lad drives into the lib square fountain and this whole ‘Jersey lifts’ fiasco is kicking off like the Watergate Scandal. I don’t even know where to start! There’s so much to be opinionated about and so few words to do it in!
I think I’d like to start by throwing out some mad props to the lib fountain dude. I saw the photo online and I have big respect to this gentleman. In the photo he genuinely has the look of a man who, ten minutes previously, may have said the words ‘what do you mean you bet I can’t drive into lib fountain!?’. I’m sure it was a genuine accident, and I’m glad nobody was hurt, but it’s pretty impressive that he managed to actually get to the fountain – it’s not an easy route to navigate and judging by the photo the car wasn’t small. He looked like a nice chap as well, so I hope his car wasn’t damaged too badly, or at all.
Following in this whole theme of unconventional motorised antics, let’s talk about Jersey Lifts. I understand the local authorities aren’t on board with it. That’s about it, isn’t it? They don’t like that people are acting as unauthorised taxi companies. Let’s be honest, proper taxi drivers are trying to make a living, and if I were one of them I’d be pretty peeved if people were illegitimately taking my business away… BUT, and this is a big but (ha), there’s that age old saying that goes something along the lines of ‘treat the disease, not the symptoms’ – taxi prices in Jersey are too high.
That’s all there is to it. I can’t dress it up any more, and I know it’s just an opinion, but I’m sure many of you would agree that there are a lot of people on the island who can’t justify spending £40 to get back to St Ouen after a night out. I’ve just finished my sandwich and it was delicious, ergo I’m in a really good mood – so I’ve come up with a few wonderful, happy suggestions to try and make everybody happy. Now, obviously this is article is not going to be taken seriously by anyone, ever, (and if it was, I’d be genuinely worried) but just in case… let’s talk about a compromise.
My first idea is to invent some sort of discount card for taxi users – or at least a loyalty scheme, or membership or something… My thought process is that on average I think a lot of people will go out into town once a week… and perhaps they’ll need to share a taxi home to St Ouen or Gorey with a mate, which I imagine would come to about £36? I could be wrong, but this is just an example. So that’s £18 each. Every week – that’s £72 a month. So 20% off that would be roughly £15 a month, which doesn’t seem like that much – but if you think about that over a year that’s like £180 a year. That’s pretty decent in terms of savings. I don’t know if taxi companies would be too happy about losing that bit of profit, but surely if it gets more people using their taxis it’s better in the long run than losing the business altogether?
Whatever, that’s a bit of a boring idea – but this next one I like more…
If the issue with ‘Jersey Lifts’ is the illegal transactions malarkey or whatever you want to call it, why don’t we change it to a ‘lift for a lift’ arrangement? Instead of paying the driver, just give them an ‘IOU’ for one lift, and they can call you in the future to cash in on that lift. In my view, it goes hand in hand with the whole community element of Jersey Lifts – I actually think Jersey Lifts is a very cool idea that the community has come up with, but if the coppers don’t like it there’s not much we can do about that – I don’t think it’s illegal to give people lifts for a lift in return – no money is changing hands and it’s a pretty friendly way of getting by. A bunch of you will be thinking ‘but what if people never give you the lift in return?’ Well, if that’s the case, they’re a dick, and you’ve been played like a jive sucker.
Jersey Lifts is a cool thing. I’m fairly sure that nobody who posted on the Facebook page intentionally thought ‘I’m going to break the law on purpose’, so my opinion is even though the authorities don’t much like it doesn’t mean it has to shut down altogether – the intentions are in the right place, I guess we just need to find a way of making it more ‘not illegal’, or ‘legal’ as I believe the kids are all saying these days.