Heavy fines, tightened rules, increased surveillance: measures to combat the phenomenon of “illegal taxis” come into force this Thursday at Montreal-Trudeau airport, more than seven months after the adoption of a regulation by the National Assembly.
Posted at 10:13 am.
Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault announced this on the social network X at the beginning of the day. She had already telegraphed her intentions on this issue in June, but the changes to the law on paid passenger transport by motor vehicle ultimately took longer than expected.
Meanwhile, the phenomenon of “illegal taxis” does not appear to have abated since June, despite the announcement of government measures. While transiting through the airport, La Presse was also contacted by several unauthorized drivers in early January.
According to our information, the Montreal City Police Service (SPVM) has also had to intervene at the airport several times in recent months due to conflicts between drivers.
Already in March 2023, La Presse revealed that the listed crimes at the airport were multiplying to deplore the presence of these “illegal taxis”. The cause: Sometimes annoying drivers who want to defraud the user through arbitrary price increases. In 2022, 660 such events were reported. From that moment on, the government became involved in the matter.
The new rules
As of Thursday, drivers are officially prohibited from engaging in “any behavior that is likely to harass or intimidate the person contacted,” and is threatened with severe penalties.
It will now also be a criminal offense to “touch the person or their property” or even “to stubbornly approach them despite their refusal,” to follow them, to impede their freedom of movement, or even to threaten and insult them. Any violation of this rule is punishable by heavy fines of up to $50,000.
As of Thursday, the law also obliges those responsible – in this case Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) – to keep a “register of permits granted” for the various operators, namely taxis and Uber vehicles.
Ultimately, fines of up to around $10,000 are planned for drivers who do not have a paid transport permit at the time of an inspection. In the event that a driver is not granted the permit, they will be fined between $250 and $750.
On the surveillance side, we have already adapted on the airport side. In fact, since this summer, ADM has increased the number of security officers in the sectors targeted by illegal taxis, particularly at the Montreal-Trudeau landing strip.