Uber is not facing hurdles for the first time since the ride sharing service was launched back in 2011 in San Francisco, California. This time, problems have arisen for Uber in Quebec, Canada, allowing frustrated taxi drivers to keep their fingers crossed and hoping it leaves for good.
New rules by the provincial government of Quebec were announced recently, which introduced regulations for Uber drivers to undergo 35 hours of training before going on to the streets. This prompted Uber in Quebec to show some aggression and even threaten to leave the province as soon as this coming October.
There is no telling yet on how serious Uber is with the threat to leave if regulations are not softened. This comes at a time when the pilot project, launched in September of 2016, of Uber in Quebec is coming to an end on October 14, 2017.
General Manager for Uber in Quebec regards the regulations set by the province as being “the most severe in North America”.
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Quebec Government Bringing Uber at Par with Local Taxi Driver Regulations
Previously, taxi drivers were required to undertake over 100 hours of training before they were officially allowed to work on the streets of Quebec. This was slashed monumentally and brought down to 35 hours instead.
Uber drivers were already going through 20 training hours, but are now being told to add another 15 hours in an eight-week timeframe. For Uber in Quebec, this does not seem like a fair deal. Some of the reasons why Uber believes they are being treated unfairly is due to most of their drivers being part-time and being allowed to choose when they work. Forcing them to undergo further and longer training sessions could mean less interest in working with the company.
Uber now has 50 full-time employees at its new office on Richardson St. in Pointe-St-Charles in Montreal. Adding the number of drivers to that count raises it to 3,000.
Adding 15 hours is not the only issue, according to Uber. It’s having to meet several regulations, with this being an unnecessary addition being stressed up as well. Business could toughen up for the California based firm, which is already going through a financial troubles of its own around the world.
“We are not in a negotiation process,” Quebec Transport Minister, Laurent Lessard told reporters in Quebec City. “We tabled a project and we indicated the elements. So only they can decide what will happen on the 14th. I am open to hearing how they propose to attain the objective, but we are firm on the targets.”
Did Uber in Quebec Officially Respond to the New Regulations?
Jean-Christophe de le Rue, the Spokesperson for Uber in Quebec, issued the following statement:
“The Ministry of Transportation informed us this morning of new and challenging regulations that favor old policies instead of incorporating the benefits of new technology. Our team is still waiting to review the new regulations but based on our current understanding, these changes significantly threaten Uber’s ability to continue operating in Quebec.”
The end of the current pilot project for Uber in Quebec is quickly coming to an end, which means Uber and the provincial government will need to work out something fast if either hope to continue progressing. Currently, there is an ongoing stall and the situation is expected to clear up in the coming days.
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