Uber and taxi drivers have been in the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons.
For several years now, there have been strong clashes between the two groups fighting for their right to transport tourists in the busy hotspot locations of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, with some resorting to violence against each other.
That is all set to change, however, as Uber has finally reached an agreement with the taxi drivers’ union so that both parties can operate freely in the popular tourist areas.
How Did We Get Here?
Feeling safe in your chosen vacation destination is a high priority on everyone’s list when traveling, so the tensions between the two transport services in the Mexican Caribbean have brought about a lot of worry among tourists.
With modes of transport often limited in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum to these specific services, it was only a matter of time before the tensions reared their ugly head.
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Reports had gone as far as physical assaults between drivers and even imprisonment in some cases where the threatening behavior had gone too far.
As videos of tourists witnessing these very tensions began to circulate on social media, it was only a matter of time before there was an intervention.
Even though the Mexican Caribbean is reaching new heights with its popularity among visitors, its success balances on a knife edge, and could be tainted at any moment if the altercations between the drivers and, on rare occasions, tourists became out of control.
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What Does The Future Look Like?
What would have been considered an impossible task merely a few years ago is now a reality through dialogue between the two parties, who have reached an agreement allowing taxi drivers to take advantage of the technology that Uber already uses.
Local taxi drivers will be able to join the thousands of drivers that operate via the app in tourist hubs across the world, such as New York, Paris, London, and Punta Cana.
This will allow them to increase their income and give them the chance to hold a firm position within the market.
Not only is this amazing news for taxi drivers, but it also brings peace of mind to tourists who will reap the benefits of this new agreement, allowing for a higher level of safety and protection.
All cars will be registered and have PIN codes that will allow passengers to know that they are in a trusted vehicle, guaranteeing a safe and reliable journey, with the option to report any trouble that is caused (though the hope is that there is none at all).
The government of Quintana Roo has also confirmed that the Uber platform will be linked to the C5 (a large-scale surveillance system), where they will be permanently monitored to prevent any further crime and threats.
With a special panic button option within each carrier, tourists and drivers alike will not only have the opportunity to immediately notify the C5 if there is any trouble but also if there is any medical emergency such as someone having a heart attack or childbirth.
Hopefully, the events of the past few years will begin to be phased out, and reports of tensions between drivers will disappear; only time will tell.
Whether you agree with large-scale surveillance or not, the effects are already working in major hotspots like Cancun and Play del Carmen, which are seeing crime rates continually falling.
Criminals are being deterred because they don’t want their faces to be caught on camera and want to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
The same is true for taxi drivers who continue to cause tension with Uber, who will essentially be reprimanded with the possibility of losing their taxi licenses.
All in all, it is good news for you who will now have a reliable and trusted service to use for transport, without the worry of being caught between a long-standing feud.
The Mexican Caribbean wants to keep its status as a go-to destination for travelers, after experiencing its record-breaking year in the tourism sector, and one way they can achieve that is by continuing to make tourists feel safer than ever before.
With this new agreement, along with the plethora of continued heightened safety measures, you are free to enjoy the beauty and majesty that the region has to offer.
You deserve it!
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