Quebec has decided to renew its Uber pilot project for another year, but the American ride-sharing giant has some new rules to follow.
According to the Montreal Gazette, Quebec’s transport minister Laurent Lessard announced today that all Uber drivers will have to undergo a police background check. Additionally, drivers will also have to take on 35 hours of training, in order to match the training expected of Montreal taxi drivers.
Uber does perform its own background checks on potential drivers, but the company uses a private firm. Additionally, Uber drivers in Montreal were previously expected to undergo 20 hours of mandatory training — 15 hours fewer than the new requirements.
“The Ministry of Transportation informed us this morning of new and challenging regulations that favour old policies instead of incorporation the benefits of new technology.”
Lessard was adamant that these requirements are mandatory if the extension is to be granted. Ultimately, if the Quebec government permanently approves Uber’s presence in the province, the National Assembly will have to pass new laws to allow the company to operate.
The Quebec government will also be collecting a well — approximately $7.2 million CAD in total — to help modernize Quebec’s taxi industry. The government will be pitching in a additional $5 million every year.
For its part, Uber seems less-than-pleased with the new requirements. In an email to MobileSyrup, Uber spokesperson Jean-Christophe de le Rue said that the company is “waiting to review the new regulations, but based on our current understanding, these changes significantly threaten Uber’s ability to continue operating in Quebec.
“The Ministry of Transportation informed us this morning of new and challenging regulations that favour old policies instead of incorporation the benefits of new technology,” said de le Rue.
There are approximately 300,000 Uber users in Montreal, as of 2015. That number has almost certainly grown since then.
London’s not calling an Uber
It’s been a complicated day for Uber. In addition to the new Quebec operating rules, the City of London, England stripped Uber of its operating license earlier this morning.
City of London officials were critical of Uber’s policy on background checks, as well the company’s “approach to reporting serious criminal offences,” according to Reuters.
“Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” said Transport for London, the city’s public transportation agency, in a statement to Reuters.
Uber’s general manager in London Tom Elvidge, said that the company plans to “immediately challenge this [decision] in the courts.”
There are approximately 3.5 million users in London.
Source: Montreal Gazette, Reuters