Tag Archives: uber

Lyft is Officially Launched in Canada

The game is on, competition game anyways. Uber watch out. Lyft, the second most popular ride sharing service is now in the Greater Toronto area. Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa – you need to wait your turn – Sorry.

Lyft is a great alternative to Uber, especially if you do not want to get stuck with $18k Uber user has recently had to pay for 20 min Uber ride.

So now that Lyft has come to Toronto you can use our PlanetWeb promotional code to get $10 off if you are interested in signing up: code PLANETWEB – https://www.lyft.com/invite/PlanetWeb

As you can see from the area of coverage below, you can now use Lyft whether you live in Newmarket or Oakville or even as far as Hamilton and Oshawa.

Starting today you can now catch Lyft anywhere you go in the GTA. You can also compare prices with Uber to see which one is faster / cheaper.

Quotagame / Pixabay

Lyft has also launched a campaign to raise money for Sick Kids, Toronto children’s hospital. Noble cause indeed.

We Ride for SickKids Foundation

Round Up & Donate uses the power of our community to raise money for good causes.

Lyft riders can opt in to round up each fare to the nearest dollar, and the difference is donated to a cause of their choice. On average, Round Up & Donate costs just a few dollars per month, but collectively our action can make a big change.

To kick things off, we’ll round up the fares on our end for every ride in December and donate the difference to SickKids Foundation. The more you ride, the more we’ll donate.

In January, Torontonians can raise money for SickKids Foundation by opting in.

Once again, now that Lyft has come to Toronto you can use our PlanetWeb promotional code to get $10 off if you are interested in signing up: code PLANETWEB – https://www.lyft.com/invite/PlanetWeb

Lyft Is Confirmed To Start Operating in Toronto GTA Before Christmas

Watch out Uber, Lyft is finally coming to Hog Town as earlier announced. The ride sharing operation has finally confirmed that by Christmas December 2017 you will be able to catch a ride with Lyft in Greater Toronto area as well as City of Hamilton. This is Lyft’s first expansion outside of the US market, where they operate in approximately 300 U.S. cities, including New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and provide about 18.7 million rides a month.

Free-Photos / Pixabay

Lyft made an announcement early this Monday:

“We’ll begin outreach to drivers today and will have additional information on timing in the coming weeks. Wherever we are, we know it matters how you get there, so we’ve got our toques on. From brunch in Bloordale and belly laughs on Mercer St to polishing off some late-night poutine at your favourite burger joint out in Woodbridge, we know Toronto is the place to be.”

This announcement is followed by a long battled out road that Uber had to take with taxi industry and City of Toronto to get ride sharing legalized earlier last year. The ride sharing industry no longer needs to operate in the shadows.

Lyft announcement continues:

Lyft will be around to help ring in the holidays, so if you’re in Toronto, just tap to request — ’cause for the first time in TO, we’ve got your ride.

terimakasih0 / Pixabay

Lyft is coming to Canada at times when some provinces taken tough stance against Uber to protect the taxi unions. Province of Quebec, mostly French speaking second most populous, Canadian province  , has recently introduced draconian new laws not seen anywhere in North America where if you want to operate part time for Uber you need to jump through hassles just like a regular taxi driver. Uber has urged the province to reconsider and has until end of the year to cease operations in the province.

“We’ve confirmed that the new training requirements that would impede our ability to operate do not have to be initiated for a few months, and we are committed to working with the government over this period,” the Uber Quebec statement reads.

Uber is Leaving Quebec, Say It ain’t So

Update: Uber has backtracked on its “shut down operations in Quebec” threat. Company said it will continue to negotiate with the government.

Government backtracked a bit as well saying that even though they will not change training requirements which now require 35 hours of training vs 20, it will allow new drivers to have eight weeks to do their background checks and drivers who are already in a system will have two years to update it.

This is not the first time Uber threatens to leave, it left Austin , Texas few years ago due to unfavorable regulations, and the city and state backtracked by overruling with a new state law.

According to Radio Canada, Uber intends to leave Quebec within the next few weeks.

Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, director general of Uber Quebec, said provincial regulations are killing the company, and making it inoperable in that province. He was mainly referring to 35 hours mandatory training Uber drivers have to do in Quebec.

Quebec is the only jurisdiction in Canada forcing this kind of training on drivers in Canada. 5,000 Uber drivers are about to lose their jobs.

The requirement of 35 hour mandatory training legislated by Province of Quebec is the same as their requirement for their taxi drivers.

Guillemette said that it does not make sense for Uber drivers to do 35 hour driving training as most of them do it as part time job to supplement their income. He compared it Airbnb hosts – imagine he said – if government asked for 35 hours from Airbnb hosts for training – noone would rent their places out anymore.

Quebec Transportation Moving Backwards


To tighten the knot, Quebec’s Transport Minister Laurent Lessard, said he can let Uber continuing operating but they would need to:

  • do 35 hours of training instead of 20 hours required now (75% increase in training hours)
  • do background checks by police and not private companies (meaning you have to go physically to police station instead of doing it online as you can with private)
  • .. and make sure government agents can inspect Uber cars every 12 months

Taxi Drivers Rejoice; Taxi Union Wins

Guy Chevrette, spokesperson for the Quebec taxi coalition, said finally government showing support for the taxi industry in that province. He said he is expecting government to help taxi industry to modernize.

Chevrette said that Uber made illegal profits in Quebec and brought the taxi permit license prices by more than 50%.

Last year, taxi drivers blocked airports and main roads, to show their anger at Uber. They have also randomly stopped Uber cars and physically abused the drivers.

Quebec – the Only Canadian Province without an Uber

A lot of Montrealers and Uber drivers said they would be sad to see Uber leave the province. Many said it improved their lives and gave them options when moving around the city.

Some Facebook said that taxi industry was outdated, taxis were dirty, taxi driver not courteous, taxis taking people around the block and double charging, and credit card machines never working.

This is sad to see – when just recently City of Toronto announced that Lyft, another major car ride company, entering that city at the end of the year.

Bye Bye I Do not Care

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre who does not shy away from public eyes met reporters at City Hall after Uber’s announcement and expressed his anger:

Bye bye, I don’t care. Don’t threaten me. If you want to threaten me, I’ve got some Irish blood. If those people are saying, ‘well, I’m against that kind of training, and by Oct. 14, we’ll leave. Well, I’m sorry, tough luck. I’m not going to cry, I’m not going to lose any sleep.

Quebec’s Transport Minister Laurent Lessard confirmed his stance in Quebec City after Uber’s annoucement:

We are not in negotiation mode. Uber is a useful service, but Quebec has no intention of modifying its criteria.

Bad Signal to Startups in Quebec

Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, just released this (roughly translated from French) announcement blaming Quebec’s Transportation Minister for not finding a compromise:

This decision, if it were to be confirmed, will have to be analyzed as a finding of failure. While Montreal is positioning itself as a welcoming ground for innovative companies, the inability to modernize the regulatory framework to allow Uber to operate in Quebec is giving a very bad signal to start-ups here and to investors who provide venture capital. The government’s decision to authorize pilot projects was a promising avenue to create a competitive and innovative environment for the benefit of users. It appears that the Department of Transport is struggling to respond quickly and flexibly to the demands of new players. Teo would have to wait several months before being granted access to more licenses. Uber is having difficulty getting the space necessary to continue operating in Quebec. The taxi community had begun to work on promising strategies in the work of the Committee on Modernization of the Taxi Industry. That is why we were surprised that the minister is imposing new rules on the pilot project.

We must accept that technological change is causing profound transformations in the vast majority of sectors of our economy. We are all mobilized behind the development of our artificial intelligence ecosystem and we are in the race to get the second headquarters of Amazon, the company that causes the most upheavals in the retail trade. If we are not agile and flexible, both in the regulatory framework and in business models, we risk falling behind and continuing to face front-end innovations elsewhere.

Uber Explains Why They are Being Forced Out

Uber is finally coming back to Vancouver, BC to subsidize taxi industry

Uber is coming back to Vancouver at the end of 2017, Province of British Columbia has announced.  While deciding to bring back the ride sharing service, the province has also decided to level the playing field by subsidizing the taxi industry by providing  “$1 million to help the taxi industry develop an app with the capability of shared dispatch to allow the taxi sector provincewide to better compete with new entrants to the market, and allow the public to hail and pay for a taxi with a smartphone in the same way that they would for a ride-sharing service”.

The province will also provide the following to help the taxi industry:


Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure said:

“British Columbians have told us that they want ride sharing services, and we’re moving forward to make it happen. While we’re taking action, we know that many people rely on taxis to support themselves and their families. That’s why we’re making investments to modernize the taxi industry and create a level playing field.”

Not everyone was happy with the proposed plan – users went to social media, Facebook, to vent, including James Becker:

Why are taxpayers subsidising an industry that is unwilling or unable to adapt to the changes in the transportation market? The taxi industry deserves no favours or special treatment from taxpayers or government. The entire framework of taxi regulation and licensure needs to be dismantled and the market opened up to new competitors like Uber and Lyft so that the consumers can benefit the most with true market value prices rather than government mandated artificial scarcity. Government should stick to governing and get out of the business of business. End corporate welfare.

Uber’s spokesperson for Canada, Susie Heath, said the following in regards to the announcement:

From Vancouver to Victoria, Kelowna to Prince George, British Columbians want and need access to more safe, affordable, reliable transportation options across the province.  Today’s announcement is a step forward by the provincial government and we’re encouraging all parties in British Columbia to commit to bringing forward progressive regulations that embrace ridesharing in 2017.

Video below goes over BC investing in taxi industry to help them compete against Uber and other ride sharing services:


Montreal Breather is AirBnb for office space, raises $73m to date

Breather’s aim is to connect the world’s spaces into a network and make them globally accessible via software. Through software, networks, and vision and with a focus on customer experience and design, Breather allows everyone to access space that suits them, anywhere in the world.

Breather aims to be a reliable solution in people’s work lives, with seamless service, conveniently located spaces, and a high standard for our user experience. Ease of use is central to what Breather offers. The spaces are consistently inspiring and beautiful, well designed and thought out. Breather’s multi-functional designs speak to a diverse community of professionals, helping individuals and groups work however they are most comfortable and productive: around a big table, brainstorming in the lounge or writing out strategy soon the whiteboard.

Breather launched in Montreal before expanding to New York City. As of November 2016, Breather is available in 10 cities, adding the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., London, Toronto, and Ottawa to the original two.

See video below of How to work better, by design. What kind of space makes a person feel inspired, creative and professional all at the same time? What are the types of environments that foster connection and allow for brainstorms and collaboration? Breather’s designers and researchers have studied how people work today. Breather is interested in the relationship between people and space, and what it means to create workspaces that promote productivity and collaboration.



Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?
Founded in 2012, by Julien Smith, CEO, and Caterina Rizzi, CCO, Breather connects people to the world’s spaces by making them accessible via their proprietary app. Each space in Breather’s 300+ global network is specially curated to be peaceful and practical and can be booked for any length of time. Located in 10 major cities across North America and the UK.

How are you being financed?
Recently in December 2016, Breather, raised a Series C round of $40 million. The funding brings Breather’s total capital raised to $73 million. Menlo Ventures led the round joined by Valar Ventures, RRE Ventures, Slow Ventures and Real Ventures.



Who is your biggest competition?
We feel that Breather doesn’t really have a direct competitor, as what we do by offering private on-demand spaces, currently does not exist in this manner. However, if we were to identify the competition, it would be companies like Peerspace, Liquidspace, Sharedesk and apps from traditional office rental businesses like Regus that now allow booking of rooms via mobile.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in
revenues? In what markets?
Founded in 2012, Breather operates approximately 300 spaces across 10 markets, including in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and outside of the U.S. in Toronto and London.

Breather intends to use its Series C capital for hiring, and geographic expansion, including further saturation where it already offers workspaces, and new cities as yet to be determined.