Ottawa International Airport Halts Uber Pickups Over Safety Concerns

Passengers looking to order an Uber from their smartphone at the Ottawa International Airport will now be out of luck, as the latter has asked the startup to suspend pickups, as it awaits the results of the city’s taxi bylaw review, expected to be released at the end of the month.

CBC News reports a memo Uber Canada sent to drivers last night stated they are “making changes to the pickup experience” at the airport in the next couple of weeks, and in the meantime is suspending pickups as of 2AM Friday local time.

Uber Canada confirmed the suspension of pickups, noting “we are committed to resuming operations as soon as possible with a better experience for riders and drivers.”

Airport authority spokesperson Krista Kealey explained liability, safety, and security concerns were behind the request, as the airport anticipates the results of the city’s taxi bylaw review, launched last May.

Staff from city councillor Diane Deans, chair of the Community and Protective Services committee, clarified today the report will be published March 31, with a special committee meeting to take place one week later.

Uber launched in Ottawa back in the fall of 2014, and after their first year of operations in the city, drivers were making 150,000 trips per month (Sept. 2015).

The popularity of Uber is not without protest, as last month an Ottawa taxi union filed for an injunction to ban the company’s smartphone app, hoping for a temporary court order to stop the company from operating. A similar tactic was used by cabbies in Calgary and proved to be successful last year.