Quebec’s transport minister has explained that the agreement reached with Uber this week can benefit all. Laurent Lassard says the agreement is fair for all-parties, including taxi drivers. However, cabbies are angered by the deal and are threatening to take action.
Taxi drivers have already protested the decision outside the Transport Ministry office in Quebec City. Furthermore, cab representatives say they are going to block Quebec Bridge. Also, drivers say they will not work and stop service at the Jean Lesage airport and at the Videotron Centre.
However, Lessard says the laws are fair. Taxi drivers largely disagree and say Uber drivers don’t have to have taxi permits, which cost thousands of dollars. Instead, Uber drivers will have a much more affordable passage. Lessard points out that taxi drivers had a similar concession at first as taxi permits were free when they were first issued.
While Uber drivers will not have to pay permits, the company itself will have to help cover the cost. This means Uber will pay a flat fee to the government for every new driver that starts using the app. The ministry says this will help fund and change the existing taxi industry.
The province has still not revealed the specifics of the agreement, but once they are finalized they will be released.
Taxi drivers have said “All they (the government) care about is the money”. Representatives say they were promised value but have now been betrayed.
“Today I realize that being patient and following the rules does not pay in Quebec. Here, the government kneels before rogue multinational companies instead of respecting its citizens,” spokesperson Abdallah Homsy said in a statement.