Montreal needs Uber, if only because taxi drivers aren’t providing quality level service.
After obtaining data from Montreal’s taxi bureau, Radio-Canada found out just how many complaints were filed against taxi drivers in the city.
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From January 2017 to September, Montrealers filed 663 complaints to taxi companies. A majority of these complaints were directed towards the “driver’s behaviour” says Radio-Canada, with 6% having to do with the cleanliness of a driver’s vehicle.
There is a positive spin to this news: the number of complaints is actually down from last year. 2016 saw 800 complaints filed, making it seem like taxi drivers are doing better in the realm of customer service.
Still, in 2015, there were only 485 complaints filed. The huge difference between the total number of complains between these three years makes it seem like this may not be the best metric to determine whether or not taxi drivers are improving their quality of service.
It really just seems like the main problem with taxis in Montreal is the attitude of the drivers.
Undercover “mystery riders” employed by the taxi bureau basically proved this, too. 600 secret, performance-reviewing rides were conducted in 2016 and the area most in need of improvement was the “courtesy of drivers,” reports CBC.
A Montreal taxi driver offered some insight as to why some people may have dealt with an unsavoury driver. Basically, taxi drivers are incredibly overworked and get little pay. It’s hard to keep happy when you’re being paid so little for so much work.
Uber and the constant presence of construction and orange cones on Montreal streets were also cited as major taxi cab stressors.
And those are all very real problems for taxi drivers in Montreal, and we’re definitely sympathetic. But customers shouldn’t have to pay the price because of the poor state of affairs of an industry.
At least with Uber around, Montrealers could always expect a pleasant ride. If not, a driver would get the apocalyptic one-star review.
Uber drivers have an incentive to be courteous to customers whereas a standard taxi driver doesn’t. That’s what needs to change.
No matter what side of the Uber-in-Quebec debate you’re on (and in truth, the taxi industry is really getting screwed over by Uber) it’s not that controversial an idea for taxi drivers to be courteous to customers. Some sort of rating system for drivers could ensure that.
Uber can leave, but let’s keep the rating system. Or Montreal’s taxi bureau should release its own. Whichever, because as silly as it sounds, some stars to rate drivers would probably make taking a taxi in the city a far more pleasant experience.