Ottawa

Uber drivers not welcome in Gatineau either, says regulator

Officials in Gatineau, Que., are taking a hard line similar to Ottawa with ride service Uber, saying drivers operating with the aid of the Uber mobile app are not welcome in the Outaouais.

Agency responsible for enforcing taxi rules says ride service drivers can't operate in Outaouais

Uber is seen on the iPhone of a driver. Uber has entered more than 100 markets, ranging from its hometown of San Francisco to Berlin to Tokyo. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Officials in Gatineau, Que., are taking a hard line similar to Ottawa with ride service Uber, saying drivers operating with the aid of the Uber mobile app are not welcome in the Outaouais.

Uber, an app-driven service that allows non-professional drivers to work as private cab operators, recently launched in Ottawa without obtaining a taxi licence.

That's led to at least two drivers being charged by undercover Ottawa by-law officers.

Ian Crevier, the spokesperson for the Outaouais section of the agency responsible for enforcing taxi rules — Contrôle Routiers Quebec — said punishments also await drivers who cross the river.

"If we're dealing with a taxi that does not have a licence in Quebec to be a taxi, or if they're basically just not a taxi company, we can seize the vehicle for 30 days," said Crevier.

Ottawa, Gatineau cabs have cross border rules

The way taxi rules work between the two municipalities and the two provinces, Ottawa cab drivers don't need a Quebec taxi licence and are allowed to drive into Quebec to drop off a passenger from Ottawa. They can also pick up a passenger in Quebec if the passenger called them through dispatch.

But Crevier said those rules only apply for cab drivers with valid licences.

Alexander Rizk, the general manager of Loyal, which operates 20 cabs in Gatineau, welcomes the agency's stance.

"They cannot come here and not play with the rules. They've got to go with what's regulated," he said.

A representative from Uber did not respond to a request for an interview.

But the company has maintained it is a technology company, not a taxi service.

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