- Quebec taxi drivers have taken to the streets once again, and you may have heard their honking.
- They are continuing to protest Bill 17.
- A video below shows them lined up outside Trudeau Airport in Montreal.
Earlier this year, Montreal taxi drivers took to the streets on several occasion to protest the provincial Bill 17, which taxi drivers feel punishes them while simultaneously promoting other ride-sharing businesses like Uber.
And now it seems they're taking to the streets again.
The video below shows taxi drivers lined up at Montreal's Trudeau International Airport yesterday, honking in protest.
I guess we can be grateful that this time they decided to ruin the welcome of guests to Montreal instead of our commute this time... but then also... man that must have looked bad.
Imagine, you arrive at an airport to visit some friends or for a business trip and all you hear is incessant honking when you walk out of the airport.
And if this time around was anything like the previous forays into protest for the taxi drivers, they weren't picking anyone up either. So now you're dealing with incessant honking and you still need to find a ride into the city, because none of the drivers are picking anyone up.
I guess we can also be grateful that they left us alone all summer long. I do sympathize with the taxi industry and with any industry that has been rocked by the introduction of new technology and more person-to-person business models.
However, there is always this recurring question of the value of a taxi permit, which taxi holders claim is around $200,000. However, a spokesperson for Taxi Owners of Montreal also admitted while speaking with CJAD that these permits were purchased for $20,000. That's some serious inflation.
The solution the government has developed is a formula to calculate the compensation that each taxi driver will receive as the ride-hailing industry becomes deregulated in Quebec to open the market up to more options for drivers and passengers alike.
Where taxi drivers are not happy is the significant difference between what they paid for a permit and what the permits are purportedly worth now.
While this discrepancy around a permit's worth continues, we make need to prepare for more protests in the near future.
In the winter, the taxis took to the streets several times to protest Bill 17 and I have no doubt in my mind they will continue to fight as long as they can.
But my opinion still stands that if they want to really make waves, instead of causing traffic and slaying any and all public sympathy... let your passengers ride for free.
We've reached out to Hassan Kattoua of Taxi Owners of Montreal to learn more about the drivers' plans for protest and what they hope to see happen in the future of Bill 17.
We will update this space with their response.