Uber, the ridesharing startup, announced news on Tuesday (Sept. 26) that it will no longer operate in Quebec in October. The decision comes as a result of stricter transportation regulations in the Canadian province.
According to a report in Reuters, the move on the part of Uber to pull out of what is the second most popular province for tourism in Canada comes just a few days after London’s transport agency decided not to renew its license in the city. Reuters cited Uber’s Quebec General Manager, Jean-Nicolas Guillemette as saying that the ridesharing company, which has more than 10,000 drivers in the city and 50 office workers, will stop operations in the province on Oct. 14.
Uber has called on the Canadian government to rethink its stricter regulations on a pilot program that had previously enabled Uber to operate in the province. “We’re asking the government to renew the pilot project and let’s sit down and find a solution to this,” the executive told Reuters. Under the new rules, drivers have to have 35 hours of training, which is the requirement for traditional taxi drivers in the area.
Uber’s decision comes as its rival Lyft is looking to enter the Canadian transportation arena. Lobbyists for the company have met with officials in Toronto, reported Reuters, citing city records. Over the weekend, The Telegraph said that Lyft is also eyeing the London market and could be emboldened to move sooner rather than later now that Uber’s license in the city was revoked.
According to a news report in The Telegraph, Lyft’s Head of Global Policy & Strategy, Michael Masserman, and Chief Strategy Officer Raj Kapoor have had face-to-face meetings and phone calls with Transport for London (TfL) officials during 2016. The talks were focused on the startup’s business model and operations, as well as the London mayor’s new transportation strategy for the city.
One December meeting in London was attended by Helen Chapman, who is in charge of TfL’s taxi and private hiring unit. Others at the meeting included Peter Blake, TfL’s director of service operations and three unnamed representatives of the Greater London Authority.