Taxis vs. ride hailing services

The arrival of ride hailing services such as Uber, Cabify, Didi and other apps in Mexico caused friction and confrontations with taxi drivers

Taxis vs. ride hailing services
Ride hailing services offer a relatively safer service than taxis - Photo: Luis Sánchez/EL UNIVERSAL
English 04/06/2019 09:22 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:28
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The arrival of ride-hailing services such as Uber, Cabify, Didi and other apps in Mexico caused friction and confrontations with taxi drivers. In Mexico City, the strife has lasted for over six years but authorities have yet to establish fair competitive conditions.

In 2015, as part of an initial regulation scheme, it was determined that the ride-hailing apps would contribute 1.5% of the cost of each trip for the Fund for Taxis, Mobility, and Pedestrians; nevertheless, these resources are known for their opacity.

In 2019, it was established that the ride-hailing companies should fulfill new requirements to operate in the city, including a special permit and the drivers will be required to obtain a new license.

None of these new requirements have satisfied thousands of taxi drivers. For this reason, thousands of taxi drivers demonstrated in the capital and in other cities yesterday, in order to demand a more strict regulation against the ride-hailing platforms.

Would a more strict regulation be the solution? It has been proven that harsh rules, high costs, and a lot of paperwork weren't enough to guarantee an efficient service and only promoted the creation of illegal taxis, and the rise of groups of taxi drivers linked to political groups; also, users have become the victims of insecurity while riding taxis.

Companies such as Uber, Didi, and Cabify took advantage of these circumstances to offer a relatively safer and technologically updated service, although these apps have incurred in alleged abuses by unilaterally increasing the prices up to 100% when the demand reaches its peak or the traffic is intense.

In the dispute, the authorities will have to set clear rules for both parties. The ride-hailing apps took authorities by surprise, just as many other technological developments, who hadn't established regulations for them. It is also understandable that taxi drivers feel threatened.

In Mexico City, where there have been deficiencies in public transport for many years, the mobility market can accommodate different private service schemes. It is essential to stop thinking of transport as a gold mine for public finances and to focus on the priority: the citizen who requires transport services.


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