Law enforcement agencies have just launched a massive operation to protect travelers this summer. Aside from targeting organized crime, officials have announced they’ll be keeping an eye on the city’s notorious taxi union amid the ongoing feud with Uber.
In January, Quintana Roo formally approved the use of Uber, the world’s leading ride-sharing app. Despite obtaining the green light to operate in and around Cancun, Uber drivers – and in some cases, passengers – have fallen victim to violent backlash from some members of the city’s taxi union.
With well over a million travelers set to flock to Cancun this summer, here’s the latest on the ongoing Uber dispute and what’s being done to solve it.
Police To Increase Taxi Surveillance Over Busy Summer
Cancun is set to receive a major contingent of law enforcement personnel over the summer to protect travelers in the coming months. The coastal destination recently launched its traditional enhanced security operation for the summer, encompassing everything from beach safety to petty crime.
One of the mission’s newest goals will be to oversee Cancun’s taxi industry amid the ongoing dispute with Uber, which has seen cases of violent taxi drivers make the headlines.
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And with many visitors eager to save on transportation costs, law enforcement agencies have said they will deploy more officers in busy touristy areas to deter taxi drivers from targeting Uber drivers and users.
What’s The Dispute All About?
The decision to grant Uber permission to operate this January for the first time in Cancun was met with condemnation from taxi drivers and unions, who have traditionally held the monopoly on such services.
Poor regulation and oversight meant that taxi drivers could make a quick buck by overcharging comparatively wealthy travelers. As a result, for the longest time, visitors have lacked affordable alternatives to getting around in the Cancun area.
That all changed with Uber. The growing popularity of the app has been seen as a threat by local taxi firms, with countless reports of taxi drivers attacking suspected Uber drivers in an attempt to deter them from offering more affordable services.
The situation escalated to the point where several countries – including the USA – were prompted to issue travel notices and advisories warning their citizens not to use the popular ride-sharing app.
But now, Cancun’s tourism police have announced major efforts to tackle the issue by increasing surveillance and fining law-breaking taxi drivers.
Most recently, Uber has seen particularly high demand in Cancun’s hotel zone, home to most of the city’s massive resorts. As such, police officers will maintain a visible presence in that area, as well as around the airport, to prevent the conflict from further worsening.
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According to local media reports, a sizeable amount of Uber drivers are already operating in the city’s hotel zone, a potential indication that security efforts may already be paying off.
How Safe Is It To Use Uber In Cancun This Summer?
The use of Uber in Cancun and beyond has skyrocketed despite facing an uphill struggle since its legalization earlier this year.
But with locals and travelers increasingly irritated by Cancun’s overpriced taxi industry, a growing number of people are opting to use Uber.
Local taxi unions suggest that demand for taxis has dropped by nearly 50% in the hotel zone as more travelers feel comfortable with using the app. However, many resorts and hotels still have contracts in place that only allow for taxis to operate on their property, so travelers should be aware of the particular arrangements in their next accommodation.
When it comes to taking an Uber in the hotel zone, travelers are advised to order rides in busy areas that are likely to have more police protection, thus lowering the risk of any kind of altercation. In addition, it’s still preferable to pre-book a private transfer to and from Cancun airport. Lastly, avoid catching an Uber close to a taxi stand or stop, as such areas are more prone to conflictual behavior.
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