Seizures of Uber vehicles not giving the expected results, the members of the taxi industry are now calling for the outright suspension of the driving license of drivers caught doing illegal transport. The Minister Robert Poeti does not preclude such a scenario, stating that the effectiveness of measures was evaluated.
Tomorrow, the Minister of Transport in Montreal organizes a consultation on the taxi industry. Officially, the meeting should be used to discuss the measures to modernize this sector. However, representatives of the drivers have this opportunity to claim a strengthening of the fight against services like UberX.
A business combination and taxi unions ask indeed to Quebec to strengthen the measures taken against drivers caught doing illegal transport. “It is not enough to seize vehicles and impose fines of $ 1,000. Uber is a multibillion dollar business, so it pays the fine drivers and even rent them a car that they can continue to transport while waiting to find their vehicle. It must suspend the license of the people working illegally, “slice Dory Saliba, president of the Provincial Committee for consultation and development of the taxi industry.
The Office of Taxi Montreal said they seized 186 illegal transport vehicles since the beginning of 2015. The seizures have increased in June while there are 96 towed vehicles for that month alone. Since early July, four drivers had to go home on foot after being intercepted for illegal transport. “The pressure is maintained. In fact, one can even say that the increases, “said a spokesman for the Bureau, Marie-Hélène Giguère.
“The problem is much deeper than the vehicle seized. Fines of $ 300 to $ 1000, it’s not terrible. “Says Dominique Roy, President and CEO of Diamond Taxi.
In an interview with La Presse, the Minister of Transport indicates that the effectiveness of seizures is currently evaluated. Asked about the possibility of going to suspend the license of drivers, he answers not exclude such a scenario. “The door is not closed to go further,” said Robert Poeti.
Industry to modernize
Uber counter, however, not enough. The minister believes that tomorrow’s consultation day should help find solutions to modernize the taxi sector. “It’s been a while that we are concerned about the taxi industry, beyond UberX of attacks,” he said.
The consultation day, which is not Uber invited, will bring together more than 25 representatives of industry and tourism. Participants will discuss the issue of service quality, as well as the supervision of the industry, according to the program obtained by La Presse. They will particularly discuss the pricing to see if it hinders the development of the industry. They will also decide on the possibility of requiring certain methods of payment, such as electronic payment.
“This is not normal in 2015 as taxis do not accept payment by credit or debit card,” says Dominique Roy elsewhere. He stressed that his company, Taxi Diamond, which includes about a quarter of the drivers of the island, has converted to electronic payments since 2009.
Tomorrow’s meeting is taking place while the City of Toronto has failed in court to get an injunction against Uber, last week. In this regard, the Minister Poëti ensures that this setback does not change the approach of Quebec. Stressing that the legislation governing taxis differs in Ontario and Quebec, he does not hesitate to continue to qualify illegal transport of UberX.
“Do not panic, it is not catastrophic”, also estimated Dory Saliba. He said the more reassured that the industry listens to the City of Montreal and the government. As drivers feel this listening, he believes that Montreal will avoid slippages as those observed in France during protests against Uber.