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Action on Allô-Stop closure

The car-pool ride-sharing service Allô-Stop was closed throughout Ontario on
May 2, 2000 by the Ontario Highway Transport Board. This occurred in
response to a complaint from Voyageur, Greyhound and Trentways bus companies
that Allô-Stop drivers are transporting passengers from city to city in
unlicensed public vehicles, even though the drivers are making the trip
anyway and money exchanged goes towards the cost of gas (i.e. the
arrangement is not profit-oriented). Allô-Stop in Montréal has stated that
an office will not be opening in Hull because the trip between Hull and
Montréal passes through Ontario, and Allô-Stop drivers are prohibited from
even using Ontario roads.

As an immediate step, you are encouraged to write to the Ontario Highway
Transport Board. Their fax number is (416) 326-6738 and their address is 151
Bloor St. W., 10th Floor, Toronto, ON M5S 2T5. They can also be called at
(416) 326-6732. See below for points you can make in your letter. The
Transportation Minister is The Honourable David Turnbull.

An e-mail list has been created on egroups.com to assist in:
(a) Organizing protests against Voyageur, Greyhound and Trentways
(b) Protesting and pressuring the Ontario Highway Transportation Board
(c) Sharing news relevant to this issue
(d) Raise funds to help Allô-Stop survive what will hopefully be a temporary
shut-down (e) Share information and ideas on how Allô-Stop can come out of
this more widespread and resilient than before

To join this list, go to:
This e-mail list was not created by Allô-Stop, but by concerned members of
the community. While the primary language is English, many members speak
French, Allô-Stop being a Québec-based organization. Sentez-vous donc libre
de participer en français.

The decision to close Allô-Stop in Ontario is:

(a) Anti-Social: The closure strikes a blow to the low-income sector of the
population. Many of the people who use the service either cannot affort cars
or bus tickets, or if they are drivers, they need to reduce the cost of
their travel. It also resulted in job losses and takes a shot at cooperative
and community-based values in general.

(b) Anti-Environmental: many Allô-Stop users support car-pooling as an
effective way to increase the efficiency of automobile use. The closure
increases the number of cars with only one person in them travelling on our
roads, increases traffic (and thus pollution), and causes an increase in
wear and tear on roads (thus making them more expensive to maintain).

(c) Anti-Community: As a ride-sharing service, Allô-Stop has for many years
helped put people in contact with people with common destinations, both
literally and metaphorically. Some people use Allô-Stop just for the company
during a long trip.

d) Anti-Small Business and Anti-Choice: This is clearly a case of the big
guys bullying small business and trying to force consumers to buy their
services by controlling the market and reducing their choices. That's called

e) Anti-Safety: Many of Allô-Stop's passengers will now look to informal
ride boards, the Internet, etc. for ride sharing arrangements which are not
arranged or regulated by a reputable, long-standing, responsible
organization like Allô-Stop, and are thus even less safe.

Please help generate a lot of noise about this in a very short time by
joining the public outcry and by forwarding this e-mail to others that you
feel care about the existence of community- and cooperative-friendly
organizations like Allô-Stop.

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