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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.

Venezuelans in the US Send Medical Care Packages to Struggling Families

By: Ysol Delgado - Aug 4, 2016, 11:13 am
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EspañolMany citizens in the United States are sympathizing with the economic and social crisis taking place in Venezuela, and have reportedly decided to send care packages to those in need. Florida residents have reportedly sent basic drugs to Venezuela after news spread of eight-year-old Oliver Sanchez, who passed away two months ago without the medication he needed to fight Hodgkin's lymphoma. Months before that, 14-year-old Maikel Mancilla Peña died after going into five consecutive days of convulsions without proper medication. "No words can explain the pain you feel as a mother when there is no medicine for your daughter," said Cristina Nogueira, whose eight-year-old daughter Camila Alzate suffers from Dravety syndrome that causes recurrent seizures. The drug shortage, which has been estimated at 85 percent, has affected their family as well. " She will have to go into an induced coma so her brain does not end up affected," Nogueira said, adding, "here (in Venezuela) there is nothing." The community of Venezuelans in the state of Florida, moved in solidarity by this crisis, have begun sending medicine to those suffering the worst. Read more: Venezuelan Government Stole 14 Tons of Food, Claims Producer Polar Read more: Without Bread, Venezuela Says Goodbye to the Big Mac José Ron, President of "Ron Logistics," helped organize the effort so the drugs could be sent free of cost. "We ship directly to consumers," he said. "If someone is here and wants to send a drug to Venezuela to a family member or friend." He also added they help patients who need chemotherapy or medicines to control blood sugar, blood pressure, thyroid and other problems. Ron, however, has only been shipping the exact drugs that people need. In the case of Nogueira, he sent only Diacomit. Ron's company is just one of the many shipping companies in and around Miami supporting Venezuelans with shipments of medicines at no cost. "We send the free medicines to collaborate and support people," said a spokesperson for one company, who believes the current situation is the most serious that has occurred in the country. A group of women has also put together an effort to gain further support. It is non-profit and takes from donations not only medicine, but also other basic-needs products as well. If Interested, Please Contact:  Ron Logistics at (305) 477-1477. From Venezuela: (0212) 335.7657. Vikom Export: (786) 360-5425 Fundación Sanando via email: sanando2012@gmail.com. To donate to Move Org, it has three collection sites: 1) 7650 W McNab Rd APT 117, Tamarac, FL 33321 2) Restaurant La Casserola in 6941 SW 196th Ave, Pembroke Pines, FL 33332 and 3) Quirantes Orthopaedics in 4258 West 12 Ave, Hialeah, FL 33012. Source: El Nuevo Herlad 

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