Uber will cease operations in Quebec
Uber, the app-based ridesharing service, started operating in Montreal in October 2014, creating tension between them and the Taxi Industry right from the start – with several court battles and injunctions taking place over the years. After their allotted one year pilot project recently ended, they were granted a renewal, but with much stricter rules, of which they were not too pleased about – even threatening to leave the province. Radio-Canada has now confirmed Uber will cease operations in the province and the director general of Uber Quebec, is expected to make the announcement at a news conference today (September 26th) in Montreal.
Last Friday, Transport Minister Laurent Lessard agreed to renew the pilot project, much to the chagrin of Taxi drivers who have held many protests in Montreal, angrily denouncing the service. But the stricter conditions introduced by the Minister on Uber have proved too much for the company, who stated it would ‘significantly threaten their ability to continue operating here’ – and now they are ready to call it quits.
The new regulations stipulate drivers must undergo the same 35 hours of training that licensed Taxi drivers have to, instead of the 15 hours previously required in the first pilot project. And Uber drivers would now need criminal background checks done by police, instead of the private companies they were using.
It’s not the first blow Uber has received. Just last Friday in London, England, Uber had its license to operate removed, after facing harsh criticism from unions, lawyers and cab drivers.
Uber has its many fans, mainly due to the lower cost of using the service, but there has been problems from the start, including incidents involving the behavior of some drivers – and more recently a man who posed as an Uber driver in Toronto, sexually assaulted a woman.
Have you used Uber’s services? Do you think the new regulations are too harsh? Should Uber stay?