New agreement with Uber (Sept. 8, 2016)


Published: 8Sep2016

The Quebec government and Uber reached a deal late Wednesday night reports say.

Barry Eidlin, Professor of Sociology at McGill University

“The question policymakers should be asking is not how much Uber should or should not be regulated like taxis. The question should be how, given technological advances in pairing up riders looking to get somewhere and drivers willing to take them there, can we as a society best facilitate people’s ability to get around safely and efficiently, while also allowing the drivers doing the work to earn a decent living and be treated with dignity and respect. By those criteria, both Uber and taxi services have plenty of room to improve.”—Barry Eidlin

Contact: (514) 398-6852, barry.eidlin [at], (English, French)


Richard Shearmur, Professor of Urban Planning at McGill University

The agreement entered into between the province of Quebec and Uber – details of which remain sketchy – seems to be in line with regulatory efforts in Alberta, the city of Toronto, Austin (TX) and other places. Unlike in the US, however, in Canada provinces have stepped in, making it somewhat more difficult for Uber to put pressure on specific cities by simply leaving the market (as it has in Austin and as it has threatened to do in Quebec) unless proposed regulations are to their liking (Chicago ended up with watered-down regulations). The devil is in the details of Quebec’s new regulations: the specific ways in which taxes and fees will be set and levied, the extent to which existing taxi permits will be compensated for, and the nature of the insurance, safety and licensing rules that will be applied, remain to be seen. The playing field has not yet been levelled in the personal ride market since Uber drivers do not require taxi permits: until full details of the permit compensation scheme are revealed it is difficult to know how this will play out.” —Richard Shearmur

Contact: richard.shearmur [at] (English, French)

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