Uber says drivers breaking rules to be expelled after taxi driver films bad behaviour
'My objective is to show the government that [Uber] has ruined our industry,' says Hassan Kattoua
Quebec's Ministry of Transport and Uber are warning Uber drivers that there are serious repercussions if they pick up passengers who hail them on the street.
A Montreal taxi driver on a mission, Hassan Kattoua, has been filming Uber drivers he hails and posting covert videos of them to YouTube.
In some of the videos he also asks the Uber drivers if he can pay cash even though Uber only allows payments through the app.
He said that since approaching Uber vehicles aren't clearly marked, he often waited for clients to get out of their Uber at Montreal's Trudeau airport, an Uber drop-off hotspot.
Uber and the airport signed a deal in December 2016 that allows the ride hailing app to drop off and pick up customers there.
He said he filmed the videos to show that Uber drivers are breaking the terms of the one-year pilot project the ride hailing app agreed on with the provincial government last year.
"My objective is to show the government that [Uber] has ruined our industry," he told CBC Montreal's Daybreak.
The Ministry of Transport, which brokered the terms of Uber's pilot project, said Uber drivers are clearly not allowed to work outside the app.
"We're waiting for Uber to put in place disciplinary measures to stop this practice," Ministry of Transport spokesperson Mathieu Gaudreault said.
Uber stated that drivers know they are not allowed to accept fares that don't come through the app nor are they allowed to accept cash. Those are both a breach of contract with the company.
"We have a very strict policy towards those who do off-platform hailing and as soon as such a case is brought to our attention, the individual is expelled immediately and definitively," Uber spokesperson Jean-Christophe de le Rue told CBC in an email.
Kattoua said that when he tried to catch Uber drivers going against their company policy all he had to do was raise his hand like he was hailing a taxi.
"They would stop, I would say, 'Listen, I'm going downtown how much will it be?'" he said.
He said his goal hasn't been to expose the Uber drivers he filmed — he wants the government to compensate taxi licence holders for their permits losing value, or to buy out all the permits.
He estimates that will amount to about $125,000 per licence holder.
with files from Sudha Krishnan and CBC Montreal's Daybreak