Traditional taxi drivers may lack the easy-to-use interface and speedy service credited to Uber drivers, but that doesn't mean they're out of the customer service ball game entirely.
In a bid to simultaneously criticize Uber while luring in lost customers, Montreal cabbies have gotten a little creative, and are now selling beer, cigarettes, wine, candy, and more, right from their cars.
Essentially turning their taxis into a depanneur on wheels, this new cab phenomenon is a direct product of the ongoing Uber War, as Montreal cab driver Hassan Kattoua told TVA. Since cabs are losing anywhere from 30%-50% of revenue due to Uber, certain cabbies feel its entirely justified to act as a vendor for tobacco and alcohol in order to even out the playing field.
But while the notion of being able to grab a pack of smokes/beer during a quick cab ride is conveniently amazing, the entire practice is incredibly illegal, and cab drivers know it. Apparently the cabbies acting as mobile deps are doing so to highlight the inherent illegality of Uber.
So to actively protest an "illegal" service like Uber (quotations used because that's the opinion of the taxi industry, not the Canadian Justice System) Montreal cab drivers are doing something super illegal like selling alcohol without a permit? Flawed logic at its finest.
According to TVA, there are at least 5 ""taxipanneurs" rolling around in Montreal, though that number could have gone up or down since the report was published last Friday.
Montreal's Taxi Bureau has gone on the record to say the tax-dep practice is illegal, and that it's a new issue they've never seen/had to crack down on before.
No stress if the Taxi Bureau take their time in doing so, though, because while the taxi-dep thing is kind of ridiculous, it sure doesn't harm any Montrealers who might want a quick drink.