Uber is now legal in Quebec under the province’s controversial pilot program. The program allows Uber to operate in the province over the next year. It represents a reversal by Quebec after the government had originally taken a tough stance against the ride-sharing giant.
The province drew up regulations for TNCs earlier in the year, but Uber objected to them and said it would pull out of the market. Quebec responded that the company had to comply or it could leave. Taxi drivers were impressed by the stance, but the government soon caved and started negotiating with Uber. The result was the pilot program.
Uber Quebec has now sent out a statement discussing the new pilot program:
“First, we would like to thank all our driver partners, our riders and our supporters who, for the last three years, have continuously advocated on our behalf as we worked to obtain regulations for ridesharing in Quebec.
By participating to this pilot project, our objective is to continue serving our riders and driver partners and to demonstrate that we can and want to operate within a regulatory framework. We will do so all while continuing to advocate for more innovative regulations that better serve the public interest.
We see this pilot project as an experience where we can work with the Government to study the impacts of these new rules.
Certainly, Class 4C requirements create a barrier to entry which – contrary to other jurisdictions in North America – prevents drivers such as our deaf and hard-of-hearing partners from offering safe rides thanks to our advanced technology that we put in place for their use. We will continue advocating for their right to generate flexible income on the Uber platform.
With this first step to regulate ridesharing behind us, we believe the conversation will now transition towards a discussion on the future of urban mobility – and what this means for our cities and citizens.
We wish to demonstrate how it is possible to reduce congestion, pollution and the need for land devoted to parking, while improving the accessibility of transportation by using private vehicles for public good.
We’re already seeing attitudes to individual car ownership begin to change. Because when people are given an affordable, reliable alternative they’re happy to take it. In America, 10% percent of Uber riders under 30 say that they’ve either given up their car or are no longer planning to buy one.
A better future is in reach. It’s a future where people are sharing rides or taking public transit simply because it’s a better option than to own a car.”