There is a reason #Uber is trending. The popular ride-hailing company has made the news twice this week, with both issues spreading negative light on the company’s corporate operations. In a bold move, Uber announced they would cease operations in Quebec due to stricter regulations being imposed by the transportation department in that city. One such condition was the request that Uber drivers undergo 35 hours of training to match the requirements of regular taxi drivers.
Uber was operating in Quebec under a pilot project agreement that allowed the service to operate legally in the province for one year. This permit was initially set to be renewed under the new conditions. The Transportation Minister of Quebec, Laurent Lessard, agreed with these new rules and also requested that Uber carry out criminal checks on their drivers and have their cars inspected every 12 months.
In response, Uber executives felt the decision was brash and unnecessary. The director general for Uber Quebec, Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, said the company will cease operations if these changes and rules are imposed. Guillemette said Uber was not consulted about these changes. Guillemette further want on to say he wants the government to renew the operational permit and then resume negotiations on these new rules after.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said Uber’s response was “bullish” and “condescending,” and that Uber was probably concerned these restrictions will create a precedent for other cities.
“Bye-bye, I don’t care,” were the words spoken by Coderre, who said the extra training should not be a burden for a company of that size company.
The Ministry of Transport remains firm on their decision and noted they are not in negotiation mode. With that being said, Uber decided to officially leave Quebec on Oct 14.
— Tim Sargeant (@tfsargeant) September 26, 2017
Uber executives have also been busy this week after government officials in London, UK, decided not to renew their operational license in that city, saying they will not be providing private-hire operational licenses. Prior to this decision, Uber was only issued a four-month temporary license.
TfL has informed Uber that it will not be issued with a private hire operator licence pic.twitter.com/2xCUBY7VoH
— Transport for London (@TfL) September 24, 2017
In some ways this was a test pilot for the City of London and in the end they were not pleased with Uber’s performance. The explanation by London Transport was that Uber held a “lack of corporate responsibility” and would fail to report minor to serious offences. Uber has since issued a public apology to the City of London. Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi apologized to the world for all the company’s mistakes, saying “it’s worth examining how we got here, and the truth is that there is a high cost to a bad reputation.”
Last year in Austin, Texas, Uber suspended operations after city council passed regulations to have drivers submit to background checks and fingerprinting. Earlier this year they returned to Austin after the governor in Texas signed a law to overpower the city’s rules
Uber has already been banned in a few countries and cities, including Italy, Denmark, Taiwan, cities in Auatralia, India and now London.
Back in the spring of 2016, Uber threatened to suspend operations in Toronto if city council passed rules to impose high-fees on drivers. The rule was not passed and Uber still continues to operate in Toronto.