Uber, Cabify Provoke Ire of Mexican Taxi Drivers

EspañolAround 200 taxi drivers blocked access to the Attorney General’s Office in Mexico City for several hours on Wednesday to protest against ride-sharing services Uber and Cabify.

The protesters claimed that the smartphone-based services are causing the city’s 130,000 regulated taxis daily losses of MEX$24 million (US$1.5 million).

Taxi drivers demanded Mexico City's attorney general's office to close thei ride-sharing mobile-apps Uber and Cabify.
Taxi drivers demanded that Mexico City’s attorney general’s office shut down ride-sharing apps Uber and Cabify. (@AlisonCruz73)

“It’s unfair competition against regulated public transportation, because regulated drivers have to go through a lot of obstacles, yet unregulated drivers are given concessions,” Daniel Medina, a spokesman for Organized Taxis of Mexico City, told press.

According to the drivers’ union, the city is home to 30,000 “pirate taxis” which are causing a 30 percent decline in regulated cab drivers’ earnings.

Protester Juan José Torres claimed that he now has to work 12 hours to make what he previously made in eight to 10, prior to the arrival of the ride-sharing apps.

Drivers displayed banners with the words “Criminals Out!” and branding Uber and Cabify “pirates” for allegedly violating Mexico’s Transportation Law.

In a press release, San Francisco-based Uber responded that it doesn’t reject regulation of its Mexico chapter, but argued that any legislation should “recognize the technological innovation that benefits the residents and the cities where we operate.”

“Mexico City residents deserve the right to decide how they will move within their city. All member-drivers pay taxes and issue receipts,” the company stated. “Furthermore, all cars providing our service were built after 2008 and have comprehensive insurance.”

The union nevertheless anticipated new activity to fight Cabify and Uber’s presence in the country. Medina said they would “continue with organized actions” until the government responded.

The Mexico City cab driver said he was yet to log in to either app, because he was busy working all day.

Sources: CNN, El Universal.

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