Transportation company Uber says customer demand is behind its decision to expand to Laval and Longueuil.

“In October, more than 15,000 people opened the app to try to request a ride [in those cities] so we want to answer the needs of the population in the shores,” said Uber Quebec general manager Jean-Nicolas Guillemette.

As a way of enticing more people to use their uberX service, where people with driver’s licences use their own personal vehicles to give others a ride, the company is offering new users in Laval and Longueuil a free ride worth $15.

Since coming to Quebec, Uber has been a thorn in the side of the taxi industry, and representatives say they’ve had enough and want authorities to crack down on the company.

Taxi drivers have demonstrated over what they call unfair competition from uber-x drivers.

Cabbies are obliged to spend thousands for special permits, insurance and registration.

But since they operate outside the taxi industry, uberX drivers don't have to pay any of those costs.

UberX drivers have been fined and have had their cars impounded, but the industry now wants their driver's licences suspended.

“It’s an illegal transport. Since it's illegal, why should they be allowed to continue defying the laws?” said Dominic Roy of Diamond Taxi.

Guillemette says it wants to avoid conflict and the company is working with the government to create new regulations that would allow them to operate. He says attitudes have to change so that Uber is seen as one of the solutions to traffic problems.

“The goal is also to compliment urban transit. A lot of people look to request [Uber cars] from the subway stations in Longueuil and Laval and we want to make sure they have another option in the cocktail of transport,” he said.

But taxi drivers want that option thrown out of the mix. They're planning a demonstration for Nov. 25 in Quebec City to show the government just how fed up they are.

The company also announced Thursday it is expanding to Windsor, the Niagara region and Kingston. It is now operating in more than 40 cities and communities in Canada and 350 worldwide.