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.
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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