Skip to Content

Study Reveals Taxis As The Least Safe Transportation Option For Cancun Tourists

Share The Article

Last Updated

When it comes to moving around while traveling, taxis stand as a convenient and budget-friendly option for many tourists.

But in Cancun, the story is a bit different.

While taxis are indeed a common choice for Cancun travelers, dissatisfaction with the service is widespread.

Taxi in Cancun

Taxi drivers at the airport are notorious for their exorbitant prices, as the overall lack of regulation in the industry has allowed them to charge different rates at their leisure.

This has also resulted in a proliferation of ‘pirate’ taxis, unlicensed operators that not only will most likely overcharge you but could even have dubious intentions.

Moreover, reports of unprofessional, rude, and even aggressive behavior are all too common.

These issues make what should be a simple taxi ride from the airport a headache for many travelers just wanting to reach their hotel after a long flight.

Car accident on Playa del Carmen-Cancun highway

As if these reasons weren’t enough to be wary of Cancun taxis, a recent study by the Municipal Secretariat of Public Safety and Traffic revealed that taxis are the most accident-prone public transportation mode in the city.

More Than 500 Accidents Involving Taxis Reported In Cancun Last Year

The study shows some troubling data regarding taxi drivers in Cancun, linking them to a total of 531 accidents in 2023. 

There have been an additional 71 incidents in the first two months of 2024, affecting 74 vehicles from the Taxi Union “Andrés Quintana Roo”.

Car crash at night

The same group of drivers was involved in about 80% of the 638 traffic incidents involving units from transportation companies such as Turicun, Autocar, Bonfil, and Mayacaribe during the past year.

Avenues are highlighted as the locations where most accidents happen, particularly between 6:00 am and 2:00 pm, which are considered the riskiest times for taxi drivers.

Of even greater concern are the hazardous driving practices outlined in the study as the main reasons behind traffic incidents. 

These include a lack of adequate distance, disregard for stop signals, invasion of preferential lanes, and turns without caution.

Frustrated man at car accident scene

Even though taxi drivers could be fined up to $2,100 pesos ($125 USD) for reckless driving, the study concludes that taxis remain the least safe transportation option in Cancun. This highlights the need for a thorough review of driving practices.

Should You Avoid Taxis In Cancun Entirely?

As unsettling as these figures might be, avoiding taxis in Cancun altogether might not always be possible or practical.

Fortunately, not all hope is lost, as local authorities have taken action to address the issue.

Cancun Taxi Driver Arguing in the Street

In light of the situation, the Quintana Roo Institute of Mobility has added a complaint space in their delegation, which is located near the Parque de Las Palapas park.

Here, both citizens and tourists can report taxi drivers who behave irresponsibly or fail to comply with safety measures.

Another development that could potentially lead to improved safety for Cancun taxis is the recent partnership between taxi drivers and Uber.

That’s right. In a rather surprising twist, the long-lasting feud between taxi and Uber drivers has finally come to an end, as taxis are now allowed on the ridesharing platform.

uber driver using GPS system

Given that all drivers need to undergo background checks before being vetted on the platform, including checks for criminal records and driving history, this could help weed out unqualified or unsafe drivers.

There are also a few things you can do to ensure a safe and hassle-free experience if you ever need a taxi ride in Cancun or the Riviera Maya.

  • Check for the driver’s permit, license plate information, and the taxi ID number on the side of the vehicle
  • Ask for a rate card and agree on a price before starting the ride
  • Always pay in pesos if possible, as some drivers might inflate the rate

Oh, and if your taxi driver happens to be from the aforementioned “Andrés Quintana Roo” Union, well, you might want to consider finding another ride.

Old Taxi Vehicle on the Streets of Cancun, Mexico

Plan Your Next Cancun Vacation:

Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!

Choose From Thousands of Cancun and Riviera Maya Hotels, Resorts and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties

↓ Join the community ↓

The Cancun Sun Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations and tourism Q&A’s for the Mexican Caribbean


Subscribe to our Latest Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Cancun Sun’s latest breaking news affecting travelers, straight to your inbox.