Uber is pulling out of Québec due to regulatory issues

Megan Rose Dickey
Uber's board of directors unanimously voted today to approve a proposed investment by SoftBank.

Uber is planning to cease operations in Québec next month due to some newly proposed regulations by the Ministry of Transportation. Uber's last day of operations in Quebec will be October 14.

In the last year, Uber was operating in Québec in pilot program, which Uber said was a "huge success." But earlier this month, Québec's local government announced some new policies for Uber and its drivers, such as requiring Uber drivers to go through a 35-hour training session, which is something local taxi drivers have to complete. The government also wanted Uber drivers to undergo mandatory car inspections every year, as well as background checks conducted by law enforcement officials.

"Given the success of the pilot project, we were disappointed that the government now wants to add new rules that rely on old administrative practices rather than renewing the project in full and supporting technology and consumer choice," Uber Québec GM Jean-Nicolas Guillemette said in a statement to TechCrunch. "Among other things, the proposed rules would impose onerous training obligations developed for a different industry on ridesharing drivers, without taking into account the benefits that come with new technology such as in-app safety features, GPS tracking of every trip, a two-way rating system, and 24/7 support."

Shortly after Quebec's Ministry of Transportation announced its new policies, Uber said the regulations would "significantly threaten Uber's ability to continuing operating in Quebec."

Meanwhile, London's transportation regulator, the TfL, recently banned Uber from operating in the city. The TfL, citing Uber's approach to handling criminal offenses, Greyball and medical records, determined Uber is "not fit and proper" to hold a private hire operator license.

Here's Guillemette's full statement regarding pulling out of Quebec:

The Ministry of Transportation has proposed new regulations that will considerably impact the lives of thousands of driver partners who wish to work on their own schedule and which will, if implemented, prevent Uber from continuing operations in Quebec as early as October 14.

Over the past year, Uber has been operating in Québec under a government pilot project, which was a huge success. Hundreds of thousands of riders have taken millions of safe rides thanks to the incredible community of driver partners and the technology that makes the Uber app such a safe and reliable way for Quebecers to get around their communities.

Given the success of the pilot project, we were disappointed that the government now wants to add new rules that rely on old administrative practices rather than renewing the project in full and supporting technology and consumer choice. Among other things, the proposed rules would impose onerous training obligations developed for a different industry on ridesharing drivers, without taking into account the benefits that come with new technology such as in-app safety features, GPS tracking of every trip, a two-way rating system, and 24/7 support.

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