Uber has suddenly halted its Ottawa International Airport, without offering a reason as to why its airport pickup services has stopped. The decision comes just weeks before the city government released a report on how it plans to regulate Uber alongside taxi companies.
Drivers operating for Uber have been requested directly from the company to cease operations at the airport. However, it seems the request is just for pickups at the airport, with Uber drivers still able to drop passengers off at the hub. Susie Heath, spokeswoman for Uber Canada said the company is in the midst of “making changes to the pickup experience,” before adding:
“We’re working with the airport and are confident that we will be able to resume operations soon,” Susie Heath said in an email.
The airport is not worried by the absence and said Uber was never authorized to work at the airport in the first place, given its unregulated status in Ottawa. However, Ottawa International Airport spokeswoman, Krista Kealey, said that the airport has been in contact with Uber to see what will happen moving forward.
“We’re not sure what the end result is going to be, but we know something is going to be announced,” Kealey said.
The Ottawa government is expected to release a report on how it plans to make bylaw changes to accommodate Uber (or indeed not) and how taxi regulations will work to make the US ride-sharing company and the traditional cab industry happy. It is a balancing act most have failed to manage.
The current laws in the city demand that any driver taking payment from a passenger must have a municipal taxi permit, with the driver and vehicle under license at city hall. Ottawa has been among the most proactive Canadian cities in terms of punishing Uber drivers for operating unregulated, charging dozens of operatives over the last year.