The growing hostility between taxi and Uber drivers in Cancun has been causing pressure to build. That animosity has now led to an incident involving tourists that caused quite a scare. The situation in question involved an Uber vehicle with tourists on board that was attacked by taxi drivers in the Cancun Hotel Zone. This occurred after tourists were told they would have to leave their hotel in order to be able to wait for an Uber to pick them up because they were not authorized to operate on the property.
The growing tensions between union taxi drivers and Uber drivers has to do with the mobility law that determines the rules regarding transportation services. Taxi drivers argue that Uber should have to follow the same rules and have the same licenses, such as the “state concession” that they do. Uber, on the other hand, argues that it is not a public transportation service, so the company should only require a business permit to operate in the city.
Since 2019 Uber has restarted operations in Cancun after an approximate two-year hiatus following reported aggression from taxi drivers that got so bad it resulted in two deaths. It wasn’t until 2019 that Uber again registered to operate in Cancun, and it has been trying to have the law changed since. That law states that paid transport services are considered a public service and therefore have to file to operate as a state concession.
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The battle between Uber and taxi drivers has been going on for months, and as a result, violence has occurred a number of times. Just within the past month, a similar incident took place outside of the same hotel property as this most recent attack, outside of the Residence Inn by Marriott in the Hotel Zone. Uber drivers are commonly threatened with violence but only rarely does a physical attack actually take place.
In the case of the event that took place on Tuesday, it is reported that the Uber driver had a pickup request from a group of tourists to be picked up at the Residence Inn. The driver contacted the group and warned that they would not pick up there due to previous incidents of aggression towards Uber drivers. The group then informed the driver that they had left the hotel and were walking down the road away from the hotel.
Following the conversation, the group of tourists and the Uber driver agreed on a meeting point, and the group was picked up. According to the Uber driver, the tourists were “scared because they were fleeing from the taxi drivers.” And they had good reason to be afraid because when the Uber turned around to head back down the boulevard and passed back by the Residence Inn, an attack took place.
According to reports from the Uber driver, a group of taxi drivers standing outside of the hotel began throwing stones at the vehicle, hitting the passenger side window. The Uber driver then drove the vehicle in reverse until seeing a police officer, at which time they reported the incident. The Uber driver then continued on to take the group to Cancun Airport before later returning to the hotel, demanding to speak to the hotel manager.
Upon the driver’s return, another police officer was summoned due to a guest’s 911 call, and the officer showed up just as an argument between the Taxi drivers and Uber driver broke out. One taxi driver was arrested as a result of the incident, but hopefully, future incidents can be avoided altogether, so nobody gets seriously injured. The court is supposed to decide on the fate of how Uber operates in the city in the near future.
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Monday 16th of January 2023
If taxi drivers stopped ripping off people with ridiculous inflated fees maybe people wouldn't be looking for alternate transportation. Every trip I take to Cancun my biggest hassle is with taxi drivers, worst one yet tried to charge me 250 pesos for a 5 minute ride, approximately 3 kilometers. For which I had been paying less than 100 in two previous rides. Uber would be a welcome relief from that constant bs.
Sunday 15th of January 2023
Maybe the taxis shouldn't charge $60 USD to drive a few minutes...
Friday 13th of January 2023
Avoid the hassle and always pre-arrange transportation from the airport and only use uber outside of hotels. Taxi operators operate like a mafia. They extort tourists, charging a minimum of $50 USD to get anywhere from the airport. They will take you to the wrong destination and demand additional $$$. These things have all happened to me and my friends in Cancun. There is no security, no reliability and no recourse until they are properly regulated (which probably won't happen because of political corruption).
Sunday 15th of January 2023
@Raphael, Playa fel Vstmen does not have Uber and the rates are generally speaking, more than reasonable, if you stay aeay from 5th Avenue. It costs double if you get aboard on 5th. Once in a while a driver will charge 100 pesos for a 50 peso ride but if you complain and he takes out the rate card you will get the 50 peso rate. Taxid here sre more reasonable than either Tulum or Cancun.
Friday 13th of January 2023
The tension was real this past summer when we went to cancun. We mostly used uber due to the transparency and safety of using an uber but sometimes due to lack of an uber driver nearby or where we were, we had to take regular taxis as well. Uber by far the better experience, even with haggling the taxis overcharged us everytime. $10 usd from Mercado to Puerto Cancun??
Thursday 12th of January 2023
Even the hotels are part of the corrupt taxi gang.