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Taxi Industry Protest Against the Montreal Government for Signing a Deal with Uber

The ride sharing company signed a deal with the Quebec government, which lead to strike and protest in the city. Earlier the activities of the ride hailing giant were considered illegal, but it encouraged its drivers to carry-on its service after paying fines. The deal made between the transportation company and the government is a temporary legal framework that allows its drivers to operate without any limitations for one year. But the taxi industry opposed the regulation 


The new regulation came into effect from September 8th and thus the authorities in Montreal and Quebec began to seize the vehicles and the licenses were suspended of the suspecting vehicles. The drivers had to pay heavy fines, but the ride hailing company informed its drivers to continue ferrying the passengers as earlier and the company will support the drivers whose vehicles were seized. A driver reported the CBC News that the company paid all the legal fines when his vehicle was seized by the authorities of Quebec. Fritz Teard, an Uber driver informed the he was fined seven thousand five hundred dollars and his license was suspended by the agents from BTM (Bureau du taxi de Montreal). However, the company referred a lawyer and also helped him get away from the ticket in the court. 

Unfortunate situation of the drivers

The car sharing company started its operation in 2013 and they have been operating their service in a grey zone. The company and its drivers have faced several issues for the past few years in the city regarding the regulation and legal issues. In 2015 more than four hundred Uber vehicles were seized by BTM; they even accused the drivers for ferrying the passengers without taxi permit or license. The drivers were not treated well by the BTM officials and they try to forcefully open the car doors and hit the vehicle. 

An online support network was formed to help the Uber drivers; they inform about the BTM seizure operations and the arrangements to pick up the drivers who have issues regarding their vehicles. This helps the drivers to talk with one another and they would not feel isolated. Because of the problem with the BTM the drivers avoid tripping in the down town area and trip the passengers at only fixed addresses. Some of the drivers have applied for insurance and cameras are fixed in some of the vehicles. 

Promoting drivers to ride more

After the effect of the new law in Montreal many drivers hesitated to step on the wheels again, fearing on the seizing of the vehicle or suspension of the license. To encourage the drivers to continue tripping, the transportation company introduced promotional offers for the weekdays and weekends. During the weekdays the drivers were guaranteed thirty dollars while on the weekends they were guaranteed thirty five dollars. In general, the drivers are not paid on an hourly basis instead they are paid on the basis of the ride. 

The pilot project was expected to get into action by September 29th, but was pushed back to October 14th. The change in the effect of the program was informed by Mathieu Gaudtreault, the Transport Minister and without the pilot project the drivers have to follow the Bill 100. But the spokesperson of BTM, Marie Helene Giguere said that the ridesharing company is operating outside the law and that their drivers are not intimated about the regulation. Many drivers who were waiting to ferry the riders on Sept 29th, but the BTM agents seized the vehicles. The drivers were confused and asked the company about it and the representative from the company informed about the push back of the pilot program and said that they will inform the drivers about all the details regarding the program. 
Protest in Montreal

The taxi industry protested against the action of the government, more than one thousand taxis participated in the protest. Traveling at about 20km/h the taxis have made their way onto Highway 40to the expressway Decarie onto the Ville Marie, the taxis blocked many streets and gridlocked in some other areas that are on the way to the rally at the Dorchester square. The participants of the protest said that deal made by the government and the transportation company will devalue the taxi permits, while the taxi drivers have paid two hundred thousand dollars and one hundred thousand dollars. The taxi drivers said that they are not protesting against the pilot program, but they against the 2-tire system that will be created by the project. 

According to the pilot program, the drivers of the ridesharing company need not obtain a taxi permit to ferry the riders, while the taxi drivers have spent thousands of dollars to get the permission and now the government says that it is not necessary. Before the protest the groups requested injunction, but failed twice. The taxi industry called the strike; however the participation was not compulsory. When the taxi driver’s association leaders tried to meet the Transportation Minister, but the Minister did not give a mandate to speak about the issue and they went to the court to stop the pilot project. However the Court ruled out that there were no compelling reasons that prevent the ridesharing company from moving ahead. The taxi drivers said that already the mobile application that automatically bills at the end of the ride has caused loss of revenue in their business, because the fares are lesser than the normal taxi fare. And now, this pilot project that is initiated by the company and the government does not require the taxi permit, but the taxi drivers have spent more dollars to get their permission and license. 

The peer to peer transportation company

Uber faces legal issues and violation of the regulations in many countries across the world, and they have even close or shut down their business in many cities despite those problems the company is able to successfully run their business. It was founded by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009 with its headquarters in San Francisco, California. The company uses mobile application to book their ride and it makes it easy for the riders to ferry to their destination without any haste. 

The people, who own a car and wish to trip, can join the company and trip the riders according to their convenience. The drivers are considered as independent contractors and not as employees. 
However, they have to undergo certain verification and security checks to make sure they are off criminal records. The riders must first download the application on their mobile phone and register themselves on the app. The registration process includes the name, location of the passengers and the card details for the purpose of payment. 

Once when the registration process is completed, the rider must select their destination and request for a ride. The request is sent to all the drivers those who are near the location, so that the waiting time of the passengers is reduced. If the driver accepts the request, the rider receives a notification about the ride and they also receive the details of the driver along with their photo. This will help the passengers recognize the driver who is going to pick them. After several regulation issues the government of Quebec has agreed with the ridesharing company to liberalize its rules and regulations. 

Author Bio:
Anand Rajendran is the Co-Founder and CEO of Zoplay. He is a writer and coffee lover. He has is a graduate in Computer Science and Post Graduate in Entrepreneurship and leadership from Ulyanovsk State University, Russia. He is a passionate blogger & SEO Specialist. Zoplay is a Software Development company which has launched Cabily Script which is a Uber Clone with Android and iOS apps

Shrey Kapoor is a Tech-Enthusiast, Harvard certified Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics Expert. He Founder Techphlie.com, which is one of the India's Top Tech News Website. Even Forbes and many other renowned publishers took his articles reference. Shrey is a Technology analyst, strategic thinker and creative writer who is passionate to deliver the best, latest possible Tech-News to his followers and subscribers. He completed his masters in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, certified in IPR, T.Q.M. & ISO 9001:2008 In Quality Management Systems.

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