No good deed goes unpunished, especially if that good deed results in a win-win situation. That’s the lesson being enforced by the City of London’s crackdown on one driver who offered inexpensive rides to cancer patients.
It all began when a story broke that the city had carried out a ‘sting’ operation and fined a volunteer driver for offering a personalized two-way transportation service to these patients – because she charged a nominal fee ($12) to cover her own expenses.
Though strongly supportive of the driver, the community’s collective outrage unfortunately became misdirected against bylaw enforcement officers who were merely acting in accordance with bylaws established by an elected municipal council. That rage should have been directed at the city’s controlled and regulated taxi industry, which is the source of the trade prohibition being forced upon each side – both the driver and the driver’s passengers.
Called a ‘good Samaritan’ by many, the anonymous driver (referred to as ‘Nancy’ in some media coverage) was praised for her selfless service to others. It was widely expressed that without people like ‘Nancy’ available for those in need, the needy would have no other affordable transportation options. The outpouring of support from Londoners was expressed through open-line calls, letters to the editor, complaints to city hall, and thousands of dollars raised through public funding drives.