Uber is backtracking on its plans to shut down its Quebec operations after the Canadian province implemented tighter restrictions on its drivers. According to CBC News (via Engadget), the rideshare company announced yesterday that it will continue to negotiate with the government as the rules are put into place.
The new restrictions go into effect today, and require drivers to undergo 35 (up from 20) hours of training and a background check. Uber has operated in Quebec for a year under a government pilot project, which was recently renewed for an additional year with the stricter rules. The new measures prompted Uber to announce in September that it would pull its Quebec operations once they went into place, saying that they weren’t feasible for their drivers. According to the Montreal Gazette, the province must pass a law allowing Uber to stay beyond an additional year.
Transport Minister André Fortin said that the training rules won’t change. “My job is to put a regulatory framework in place,” he said on CBC Montreal on Friday. “Whether a specific private company decides to operate within it, it's not for me to be for or against that."
However, the government said that while it would not budge on the training requirements, it will allow new drivers will have eight weeks to complete their background checks, while existing drivers will have two years.
The company has threatened to leave cities where unfavorable regulations have been implemented in the past. Last year, it pulled out of Austin, Texas after its city council passed requirements for drivers to submit to enhanced background checks, and returned once those regulations were overruled by new state law.