BUSINESS

Anti-Uber Montreal Cabbies Target Taxi Two-Timers

04/18/2015 01:31 EDT | Updated 06/18/2015 05:59 EDT
Some Montreal cab drivers who don't like Uber have been using the popular ride-share app to track the drivers who also drive for the car-sharing service.

In Montreal, some cab drivers have signed up to be Uber drivers to make some extra cash on the side.

According to a group of taxi drivers who convened in Old Montreal on Thursday, about 200 of the city's 4,500 cabs are used for Uber purposes.

One of the cabbies confronted fellow driver Redha Hassani: "You're cutting off the branch you're sitting on by bringing them clients."

Hassani said he understands his anti-Uber colleagues' point, but said they're fighting a losing battle.

If I stop doing it, he told the drivers who confronted him, there are 20 people behind me who will keep doing it.

"I don't have a choice, I have to support my family. I just bought a house for the comfort of my children. But now, I'm trying to stay afloat," Hassani said.

Wilson Jean Paul, a representative with the taxi owners' association of Montreal, said that the more time passes, the worse it gets.

"We lost almost 30 per cent of [customers] since Uber started and we want taxi drivers to stop working for Uber Taxi… So we dedicated this month to do some interventions," Jean Paul said.

Cabbie makes wanted posters for Uber manager

Hassan Kattoua, also an opponent of Uber, said the situation has reached an explosive point. He's taken to sticking a wanted poster featuring the face of Uber Montreal manager Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, to his car.

He also hands out the same poster to his colleagues.

Guillemette said he was shocked when he learned he was being portrayed as a criminal.

"I would be lying if I said it didn't affect me," he said. "They're threats, it's intimidation. The goal, to scare us, will not work."

According to him, Uber has seen exceptional growth in Montreal, with tens of thousands of rides being delivered each month.

Non-professional drivers signing up with UberX have also become more numerous.

UberX is technically illegal in Quebec, but is currently operating in a grey zone until the province can introduce proper legislation dealing with the increasingly popular form of shared transportation.

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