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State Dept. warns Cancún guests towards Ubers as taxis protest


The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico on Monday issued a safety alert for the state of Quintana Roo — house to Cancún, the Riviera Maya and Tulum — warning that hiring application-based automobile providers reminiscent of Uber and Cabify might put passengers liable to getting caught in a tense alternate between drivers competing for fares.

Whereas the State Division has stated transportation apps “usually provide one other protected different to taxis,” latest disputes between drivers for the apps and taxi unions “have sometimes turned violent, leading to accidents to U.S. residents in some situations,” the alert learn.

The journey alert got here because the area’s licensed taxi drivers have been protesting by blocking the street to Cancun’s resort zone, resulting in vacationers abandoning rides to stroll to the airport or get escorted by police, La Jornada newspaper reported.

In line with Cecilia Román Quijas, head of security communications for Uber Mexico, the corporate has groups in america and Mexico devoted to working with police and offering clients 24/7 assist.

Román stated in an e mail it’s necessary to make clear that the alert was particular to Cancún due to “broadly publicized incidents in a really particular vacationer vacation spot.” She pointed to the State Division’s common journey advisories, which she stated “repeatedly consult with Uber as a protected different all through the nation.”

Natalia de la Rosa Hilario, a meals author and operations chief for the Mexico food-tour firm Membership Tengo Hambre, says battle between the native taxi trade and Uber usually are not new. With protests going again practically a decade, “it began since Uber received to Mexico,” she stated.

Frank Harrison, regional safety director for the Americas at World Journey Safety, a journey risk-management firm, agreed that the present points in Cancún and Quintana Roo are simply the newest flash level within the nationwide anti-Uber sentiment throughout the taxi trade.

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De la Rosa Hilario stated there are benefits to utilizing Uber for vacationers visiting Mexico, mentioning the app can really feel safer for ladies as a result of the driving force is tracked, you possibly can see the place you’re going and also you don’t must alternate money.

However “don’t get me improper — Uber shouldn’t be the very best, both,” de la Rosa Hilario stated. She acknowledges that related start-ups use surge-pricing practices and might threaten licensed taxi drivers’ livelihood.

Román stated that the protection options in Uber’s U.S. app are additionally accessible to riders and drivers in Mexico. That features an in-app emergency button to name 911, Share My Journey and RideCheck (which senses lengthy delays or route deviations), amongst others.

Harrison stated whereas Uber is a most popular transportation choice for a lot of American vacationers, anybody utilizing the app or related providers want to know the native sentiment. Being a taxi firm or a driver requires licensing, charges and inspections, Harrison famous. He added that drivers take delight of their service and will resent transportation start-ups.

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Whereas Harrison stated he prefers utilizing licensed taxi drivers when touring — they could be a useful supply of native data and suggestions — he additionally recommends checking to see whether or not your resort has a courtesy shuttle or can organize a pickup for you with a trusted driver.

Sadly, Harrison stated, there are points with each pretend Ubers and taxis to be cautious of in Mexico. Should you’ve found you’re coping with a nasty journey, he stated, it’s best to get out of the automobile, try to take an image of the license plate and report it to the native vacationer police.

In an e mail to The Submit, a State Division spokesperson reiterated the knowledge within the alert and inspired anybody planning a visit to Mexico to learn the complete journey advisory for the nation on its web site.

“We additionally encourage U.S. residents touring abroad to enroll within the Good Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP.state.gov) to obtain necessary messages about their vacation spot(s) instantly, together with well timed Alerts and updates to Journey Advisories,” the e-mail stated.

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