The city of Quebec has reached an agreement with ride-sharing giant Uber. The company will now be able to operate its app in the province, while other ride-sharing companies will also be adopted. However, the path to legality will only be completed after the agreed upon one-year pilot program is finished.
Transport Minister Laurent Lessard announced the agreement in principle on Thursday. If the pilot is successful, Uber and other Transport Network Companies (TNCs) will be adopted in Quebec, but if not it will be back to square one.
In a statement, Lessard says Uber has agreed to meet demands of the provinces regulations. To meet these agreements, Uber will make some changes to its business model. For example, all drivers will have the same permit, but it has not been explained this will be a current taxi permit. At the moment the province nor Uber have disclosed the details of the agreement.
Negotiations have been ongoing for much of this year, and permits were the main points where the company disagreed with the province. Quebec passed a law to manage to Uber in June which would have forced the company’s drivers to take full taxi permits. The fine for not complying would be $25,000 per driver. It is unclear if these terms remain.
Uber Quebec general manager Jean-Nicolas Guillemette says that the company decided to comply with the rules to help out Quebecers. Specifically to give them “more options to get around town or use their car to earn income” and to show a willingness to work in a regulated industry and “be a partner in innovation.”
“In the days to come, we’ll have more to say about how this pilot project impacts riders and drivers,” he added.
Since introducing the bylaw, Quebec gave 90 days as a grace period to open negotiations in a bid to help push through an agreement. That 90-day period closed midnight on Thursday, but an agreement was finally reached.