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Taxi Fares Rise in Bogota amid Violence toward Uber Drivers

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Aug 4, 2016, 12:18 pm
The Colombian government is considering legal actions to block the app in the country. (Youtube)
The Colombian government has considered taking legal actions to block the Uber app. (Youtube)

EspañolAfter a group of taxi drivers turned aggressive toward a driver suspected of working for Uber, the taxi union in Bogotá, Colombia has announced prices for cab fare will rise.

Several taxi drivers beat a man driving a special service van July 31. The white vans were for restricted public and luxury service, also known as “Uber Black” or the “City” Cabify service. The incident occurred between 93rd Street and 85th Street in Bogota, one of the more social and lively areas of the city.

The driver of the special service was reportedly hit when a group of taxis intercepted the vehicle carrying some passengers, which led to a brawl, according to taxi union leader Hugo Ospina.

Ospina said taxi drivers will continue to challenge Uber drivers because they are upset about the app service now allowing cash payment.

This was not the first time taxi drivers assaulted special service drivers or private vehicles. There have been a series of attacks carried out by taxi driver “search blocks” that seek to attack those who use Uber.

Despite the aggression and bad service, taxi fares increased in August. The minimum price for a cab is now COP $4,100 (USD $1.33), compared to the previous COP $3,900 (USD $1.27) — according to Mayor Enrique Penalosa, who also announced that the taximeter apparatus by which the distance and time to calculate the charge will increase at a faster rate during traffic jams.

The mayor has also proposed the idea that users pay more for an individual transport service, known as accident premium. It would consist of an additional COP $500 (0.16 USD) for each taxi service as an incentive for drivers to try to have less accidents.

The hashtag #TarifaTaxi started trending countrywide in August to criticize the mayor’s proposal.

Most won’t even feel the fare raise because they’ve always overcharged.  Good taxi drivers are in the minority.

The taxi fare proposal goes as follows: I will pay $200 extra pesos if you don’t crash against whatever you can crash

So, asides from raising the taxi fare I have to pay $500 extra so he doesn’t get into an accident and I can get home alive.

They mistreat the user, terrible service, are criminals behind the wheel, “I don’t go there”, they raise the fares, that’s why I’m a Uber user.

Source: KienyKe, Revista Dinero

Julián Villabona Galarza Julián Villabona Galarza

Julián is a reporter with the PanAm Post with studies in Politics and International Relations from the University Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. Follow him: @julianvillabona.