Uber has been operating for two years in Montreal, while their UberX service has now hit its one year anniversary. The controversial company has shared some numbers on what it has achieved to CBC News.
Quebec general manager Jean-Nicolas Guillemette said there are now roughly 300,000 rides monthly in Montreal (or 1 every 9 seconds), requested via the company’s smartphone app. He says this number is “pretty good,” with most of them being UberX rides, the company’s unregulated service which allows regular citizens to give passengers rides in their private vehicles.
Guillemette says the popularity of UberX in Montreal, despite operating in a legal grey zone, shows the province Montreal residents are “eager” to embrace ride-sharing services like Uber. He also went on to say “Second, it shows that people are really looking for more options and alternatives to move around the city.”
Montreal mayor Denis Coderre and the Quebec government have deemed UberX illegal, with taxi drivers also protesting the service, claiming it is unfair and is reducing wages and standards of living.
Uber explains their services are boosting the Montreal economy, claiming the equivalent of 1,400 jobs created (based on hours driven divided by a 35 hour workweek), while also helping generate $21 million towards the province’s economy since 2014. In the coming year, plans are set to launch UberEats (food delivery) and UberPool (carpooling) in the city.
Other numbers revealed by Uber for Montreal:
- 68% of UberX rides are one-way
- 28% of UberX rides start/end near a Metro station
- 50% of Uber driver-partners work less than 10 hours per week; 70% work fewer than 20 hours per week
- Average hourly wage for UberX drivers: $22.40
Back in April, the city cracked down on UberX, seizing as many as 40 vehicles and fining drivers; Uber has been covering these costs and has vowed in the past to battle these cases in court. A month later, Quebec’s tax agency raided Uber’s offices in Montreal, citing allegations “tax fiscal law has been broken.”
Quebec Transport Minister Robert Poeti said at the time “With UberX, it’s totally illegal right now and when you do something illegal in front of the law, you could have a few problems.”
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