Uber taxi app takes on Canadian cab companies
App that connects drivers with those needing a ride 'a disruptive technology,' Uber Montreal executive says
The popular transportation app Uber is trying to reinvent how Canadians get from one place to another by connecting drivers with people looking for a ride and, in the process, disrupting a taxi industry that has been slow to adapt to new technology.
Since launching in 2010, Uber has expanded to over 100 cities around the world, including Montreal and Toronto. By the end of the year, it hopes to be in 170 locations.
But like most companies hoping to disrupt the status quo, Uber has faced some roadblocks.
"Uber is a technology company and a disruptive technology," Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, general manager of Uber Montreal said in an interview on The Lang & O'Leary Exchange. "When we enter a market, sometimes it creates some fear, or at least questions from regulators".
In Montreal, Uber met with cab companies and regulators in an attempt to allay some of those fears.
Pushback from cab companies and regulators in Vancouver and Calgary forced Uber to abandon expansion plans there. The service has been banned in New Orleans, Miami and Brussels, among other cities.
Meanwhile, users have lashed out against the app's "surge pricing," which in some cities boosts the cost of a ride based on demand.
Uber also operates much differently depending on the city. In Toronto and Montreal, the service uses only licensed drivers and relies on traditional fare meters.
Watch the full interview above.