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Mexico City Opens the Door to Uber, with Taxes and Regulation

By: PanAm Post Staff - Jul 17, 2015, 8:34 am

EspañolAfter four months of protests and complaints from taxi drivers, Mexico City has become the first city in Latin America to regulate ride-sharing apps like Uber and Cabify.

Mexico City taxi unions say the newly passed regulations on Uber are not tough enough and plan to strike.
Mexico City taxi unions say the newly passed regulations on Uber are not tough enough and plan to strike. (Proceso)

On Wednesday, July 15, the city government issued a list of rules that Uber drivers must comply with, including a 1.5 percent charge, a yearly permit fee, and a minimum vehicle value.

The Mexico City government plans to use the 1.5 percent levy to generate revenue and create the Fund for Taxis, Transportation, and Pedestrians.

Beginning on July 16, drivers will have 15 days to pay MEX$4,617.50 (about US$290) to confirm their registration with the capital’s Transport Secretary (SEMOVI).

Among other requirements, registered vehicles must have an original value of at least MX$200,000 (US$12,650), four doors, air bags, radio, air-conditioning system, and seat belts for all passengers.

Drivers must also pay MEX$1,599 (close to US$101) for an annual permit on each vehicle used for this service.

In a press release, the Mexico City Uber team said the move “makes Mexico a pioneer in recognizing, in law, that supply should respond directly to demand and the free choice of consumers.”

The news reportedly angered local taxi drivers who believe the rules on ride-sharing apps should be tougher. Union leader Rubén Alcántara said the rules demonstrate a “lack of respect” from the city government and taxi drivers plan to protest by going on strike.

In May, more than 1,000 taxi drivers went on strike demanding the city ban ride-sharing apps, blocking streets and bloating traffic. Currently, more than 139,000 taxi drivers contribute close to MEX$400 million (US$25.3 million) in taxes and other administrative fees to the city government.

After arriving in Mexico City in 2013, Uber now has more than 500,000 registered clients and 10,000 drivers, making it one its fastest-growing markets in the world.

Sources: Milenio, Reuters, El Informador.