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PDC taxi union suggests state run digital platform to compete with Uber

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — The taxi drivers’ unions of Quintana Roo are wanting to meet with local deputies to discuss the new Mobility Law to propose their own platform which would compete with Uber.

Jesús Pastor Martín Medina, general secretary of the Lázaro Cárdenas del Río union says that instead of handing over profits to Uber, a state-run digital platform would mean money for the Quintana Roo government.

The leader of the Playa del Carmen taxi union indicated that it is very difficult for each municipality to have its own application, but the state government could manage one in which it keeps a portion of the fare as Uber does. He says this money could be used for infrastructure improvements and tourism promotion.

“It would only be for taxi drivers who have a concession since the law says that in order to provide the service, it has to be with a concession,” said Marín Medina.

Marín Medina admits that there are many complaints against taxi drivers for deficiencies in transport or poor service, so in social networks the public advocates in favor of Uber, but stressed that Uber is requesting to enter the tourist areas, not the majority population.

In regard to the last concession delivered by the previous government, he explained that it is up to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (Sintra) to analyze whether they deserve to be renewed.

He pointed out that his administration has five months remaining, in which they will work on improving vehicles and training operators. In December, the assembly will take place and the call will be announced in February, when all those who are part of the committee and want to participate must request a license.

However, previous attempts at digitizing taxis have failed. Since 2014, the Andrés Quintana Roo have proposed three digital taxi options, two of which were Easy Taxi and Quiero Taxi. Both were discarded due to low performance.

The digital Easy taxi service started with less than 300 cars and dwindled downward when the company did not get the business boom it expected. Quiero Taxi began with 316 cars in 2015 with a growth projection of 1,000 operators within three months, however, by the end of that year, the number dropped to just over 200 operators.

A third platform was created toward the end of 2016, VIP Fleet, which was created to take on Uber. VIP Fleet has been running since December 2016 and operates mainly in the Cancun Hotel Zone.