The ongoing turmoil between taxi and Uber drivers recently came to a boiling point when a judge declared that Uber is operating legally and can provide transportation in Cancun. Taxi drivers were apparently infuriated by the ruling, arguing that Uber drivers should have to follow the same process as taxi drivers in order to operate legally. Since the ruling, multiple incidents of aggression and harassment by taxi drivers have occurred, which has led to the military being deployed to the Hotel Zone, on beaches, and downtown to protect tourists from becoming victims of the continuing battle.
The Legal Difference Between Taxis And Uber
Taxis in Cancun are considered a form of public transportation and, as such, are required to have certain state concessions or licenses in order to operate. Uber argues that it is a private company and shouldn’t have to meet the same requirements but rather should be able to operate with only a business license. Taxi drivers and the unions that represent some of them claim that Uber gets an unfair advantage by applying the law in this manner.
Brief History Of Uber Operating In Cancun
Uber first began its entry into the Cancun transportation market in 2016, around seven years ago, and it has been an uphill battle for the company since. After a little over a year of dealing with pushback from officials and taxi drivers, Uber stopped offering service in Cancun in December 2017. It wasn’t until 2019 that Uber began operating again in Cancun after Uber Mexico was federally ruled to be a private company, but it wasn’t until this year that the company was officially deemed legally operating in Cancun.
Recent Incidents Of Taxi Driver Aggression
Even before the ruling regarding Uber was made on January 11, 2023, Uber drivers were facing attacks from taxi drivers. The day before the ruling, taxi drivers were accused of throwing rocks at an Uber vehicle with tourists in the vehicle, which caused quite a scare for everyone but fortunately nobody was injured. Then, a little over a week later, an Uber with tourists aboard was chased down by multiple taxi vehicles and blocked in near the Cancun Hotel Zone.
Effects Of The Battle Outside Of Mexico
As the news of attacks has increased over the last couple of weeks the situation is being discussed around the world. The growing reports of attacks have even led the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and the U.S. State Department to issue a warning to tourists traveling to Cancun and other parts of the state of Quintana Roo. The warning is to inform American travelers that there is an ongoing issue between drivers of the two different forms of transportation.
Alternatives For Getting Around Cancun
Fortunately, when you visit Cancun, you don’t have to take a taxi or an Uber if you don’t want to. To and from the airport and to other nearby cities you have numerous other options, including buses, shuttles, private transportation, and rental cars. Once in the Cancun Hotel Zone, you’ll be able to walk to many restaurants, attractions, and beaches so there is little need for transportation once there unless you want to visit the downtown area or get to the Isla Mujeres ferry.
What The Future Holds For Uber Drivers In Cancun
This likely won’t be the end of the story for Uber’s fight to be recognized as legitimate in Cancun. Officials will eventually have to find a way to deal with the attacks. Solutions may consist of sanctioning taxi drivers for bad behavior or it could mean revisiting the ruling, but surely the issue will be addressed in some way.
Until the battle ends, though, tourists can feel a little bit safer knowing that the military is out there in the downtown nightlife area, on the beaches, and in the Hotel Zone keeping an eye on things.
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