Montreal

Taxi drivers support anti-Uber bill, with conditions

Taxi drivers are urging the Quebec government to quickly adopt a bill that would effectively push Uber out of the province. But they're asking for one little change to Bill 100.

Cabbies decry Bill 100 provision that would change fares according to demand, as Uber does

A taxi driver holds a sign saying 'Bye Bye Uber' at a meeting of the Métallos union. (Radio-Canada)

Taxi drivers are urging the Quebec government to quickly adopt a bill that would effectively push Uber out of the province.

But they're asking for one little change to Bill 100: drop a clause that would adjust fares to demand, much like Uber does with its surge pricing.

The Regroupement des travailleurs autonomes Métallos, which represents 4,000 taxi and truck drivers, met on Sunday to make a final statement on their long-running dispute with the ride-railing app.

The group says that modulating fares in peak periods goes against consumer interests.

Last week the provincial government tabled a bill that would force Uber drivers to get a taxi permit. Anyone offering taxi transportation services without one would face fines of $2,500 to $25,000. Uber itself could be fined up to $50,000.

The San Francisco-based firm said that if Quebec legislation is too onerous, it would cease operations here.

Taxi drivers applaud the position taken by the Métallos union supporting a bill regulating Uber. (Radio-Canada)

Among the other key points in the legislation: 

  • The province would have the power to determine the total number of taxi permits for specific areas, including Montreal.
  • Fare pricing would be set by the Commission des transports du Québec and would vary depending on the area or whether an app is used to hail the taxi or Uber.
  • New powers to the province would punish those who don't comply with the act, including the possibility of suspending the driver's licence. 
  • Drivers across the industry would be required to accept electronic payment.

now