A Quebec company is developing its own app to allow taxi customers to order a cab from their phone, to track its location while en route and allow them to pay via their phone as well.
The app is called Paxi and its developers expect it will be ready to launch on Dec. 1, 2015.
According to the president of Paxi, Pierre Lopez, the primary difference between Paxi and Uber is that Paxi will only operate with legitimate taxi drivers.
"The client or customer can actually choose which company to go with... The one he prefers, he can choose it," said Pierre Lopez.
Paxi would also allow customers to select their preferred driver and type of vehicle, and to pay by credit card or their phone.
Uber is in use in nearly 60 countries around the world and allows clients similar choices.
Some established taxi drivers use Uber as a supplementary way to be pick up riders, but the company also offers UberX, which consists of drivers who do not have taxi licences.
That lack of governmental oversight has caused problems for Uber in many cities, including Montreal.
In many cases UberX drivers have had their cars seized by authorities for operating a taxi without a permit.
Paxi does not anticipate having any problems when its app is launched.
"As we said before, we are following all the norms, the rules, and we can actually launch that being totally legal," said Lopez.
Uber sets prices for a ride based on distance, but also includes a sliding scale based on demand: the more people looking for rides, the higher prices get.
Fares for legitimate taxis are established by a a government board, the Taxi Bureau, and Paxi hopes it will be able to collect ten percent of fares from riders using their app.
Montreal mayor Denis Coderre said he hopes that drivers will respect municipal bylaws and provincial legislation.
"Until the policy is changed, if it's changed, in the way that you define what's a taxi, that's something else. We'll let them do their job," said Coderre.
Coderre also seemed unimpressed by an idea floated by Uber of giving the city ten cents for each ride conducted by its drivers instead of having them be regulated by the Taxi Bureau.
"What are you going to do about liability? What are you going to do about insurance?" said Coderre.
"It's not a menu à la carte. I think overall we have to look at the future of the taxi and the industry itself."