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Cozumel to offer ferry subsidy to island residents

Cozumel, Q.R. — With the municipality’s own resources, a subsidy of between 100 and 110 peso will be provided in the cost of the maritime crossing between the island and the municipality of Solidaridad.

After the Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece) declared that there is no competition in the maritime transportation service, Cozumel mayor Pedro Joaquín Delbouis, announced a subsidy for island residents.

Delbouis explained that the city has additional resources to be able to help island residents with a discount of between 100 and 110 peso against the cost of a ticket.

The agreement reached by Cozumel city council with Winjet and Ultramar will enter into force March 15 and allow offering preferential rates below those paid with the Local Plan. He says with the preferential rates, islanders will pay 80 peso for a round-trip as opposed to the 90 peso currently being paid for a single trip.

“The Plan Fuerza Cozumel will be even cheaper, well below any rate that has been charged per crossing in recent years,” he said.

“Given the constant rise in the rates of sea crossings, which hurts the pockets of the inhabitants of Cozumel, and because the work we do before Cofece, the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) and the General Coordination of Ports and Merchant Marine, that is, all the entities involved, have not yet had positive results.

“This new plan is to give an economic break to the island’s families,” he added.

On February 11, the Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica (Cofece) concluded that there is no effective competition on six routes of the passenger maritime transport service in the form of ferries in Quintana Roo with origin and / or destination from Isla Mujeres to Puerto Juárez, Gran Puerto, El Caracol, Playa Tortugas and El Embarcadero, and from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen.

The investigating authority established that Naviera Magna (Ultramar) has a high market share in these routes and that there are economic and regulatory barriers, which allow it to set rates without its competitors being able to counteract it.

“The economic barriers to market entry correspond to the high investment amounts for the acquisition and / or leasing of the vessels and the scarcity of alternative uses, the recovery period and indivisibility of the investments, the advertising expenses, as well as the acquisition of insurance,” the document reads.

The agency adds that in the state of Quintana Roo, users do not have the option of other means of transport, such as land or air, that allow them to move between the islands and the mainland.

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