Montreal

UberX stealing cabbies' jobs say protesting taxi drivers

Nearly 100 taxi drivers lined up their cars in Pointe St-Charles on Thursday morning to kick off a protest against car-sharing services like UberX.

Montreal cabbies asking transport minister to outlaw UberX app-based car-sharing service once and for all

Aki Vassilatos, taxi owner and driver for 10 years, participates in a protest against services like UberX. (Rebecca Ugolini/CBC)

Nearly 100 taxi drivers lined up their cars in Pointe St-Charles on Thursday morning to kick off a protest against car-sharing services like UberX.

They're asking Quebec Transport Minister Robert Poëti to apply the law and get rid of UberX once and for all.

Ashkan Gorji has been a cab driver in Montreal for eight years. He says UberX is illegal competition for conventional cabs. (Rebecca Ugolini/CBC)

"Business is down at least 25 per cent and it's illegal. People who are just using an iPhone are hurting us," Ashkan Gorji, a taxi driver of eight years, said of UberX. 

UberX allows drivers not licensed to operate as cab drivers the ability to use their own car to pick up passengers.

Taxi drivers say this is unfair — both because UberX drivers present additional competition, as well as because taxi drivers are required to pay licensing fees UberX drivers are not.

Politicians have called UberX illegal, including Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.

In December, Uber Montreal asked the provincial government to regulate it so that it could have clear operating guidelines in the province.

The protesting taxi drivers will visit Quebec Transport Minister Robert Poëti's office before continuing on to la Maison Radio-Canada.

Taxi drivers line up at the corner of Carrie-Derick and Marc-Cantin streets in Pointe St-Charles for a protest asking the government to enforce transportation laws and crack down on services like Uber. (Rebecca Ugolini/CBC)

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