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Montreal taxi authorities crack down on ride-sharing service Uber

A woman browses an Uber website on her smartphone in Montreal, Monday, November 24, 2014.
A woman browses an Uber website on her smartphone in Montreal. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — Ride-sharing service UberX said it will go to court to fight the seizures of 40 vehicles from Montreal drivers over the past few weeks.

READ MORE: New York City’s yellow cabs are now outnumbered by Uber cars

Montreal’s taxi bureau has been cracking down on UberX since March, with both the city and province viewing the service as illegal because drivers don’t have permits.

Taxi drivers make their way through downtown during a protest against unregulated transport services like Uber, Thursday, February 19, 2015 in Montreal.
Taxi drivers make their way through downtown during a protest against unregulated transport services like Uber, Thursday, February 19, 2015 in Montreal. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

UberX is a car-sharing smartphone app that links clients to drivers in privately owned vehicles who provide rides at prices lower than typical cab fares.

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READ MORE: What can Montreal do to increase taxi safety?

Fines and impound costs bring the total penalties to about $1,000.

Jean-Nicolas Guillemette of Uber’s Quebec branch said drivers are within their rights to offer rides to Montrealers, and will contest the tickets and seizures in court.

READ MORE: Uber users, drivers at risk without proper insurance coverage

Uber has argued that developing a mobile app that links customers to nearby rides qualifies it as a technology company and not a transport operation.