The Quebec taxi industry is angry about a recent deal between Uber and the two largest airports in the province. The ride-sharing giant is now available to take travelers to and from both Quebec City and Montreal airports. However, taxi representatives argue Uber’s allowance to work the airports has been too easy.
Le Front commun du taxi, a representative of Quebec’s three largest taxi firms, says taxi drivers had to pay for and apply for special permits to work at the airports. Uber, on the other hand, has been able to enter the market without taking the same steps for its drivers.
“Le Front commun du taxi strongly denounces the agreement officially reached by the airports of Montreal and Quebec with the multinational Uber, which allows the latter to pick up passengers despite the contracts that these airports have with the taxi industry,” the statement said.
However, some argue that taxis had a monopoly. Drivers working airports had access to much sought after earnings and permits to work the airports are prized among cabbies. For example, the 325 available permits made available in the 2015 lottery, 4,200 cabbies applied. The lucky 325 chosen drivers have to pay more than $4,000 per year to work the airport.
The fact drivers pay this permit license and still make money shows how lucrative the airport run is. Now taxi drivers feel they are losing out because of Uber, especially as its drivers did not have to acquire permits.
“Drivers owners of taxis and limousines, who are already seeing the value of their permits drop, will [see] the bulk of the bread and butter go to Uber,” Le Front commun du taxi said in its statement.