Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico - At a recent press conference, the vice president of Umbrella Media, Carlos Olamendi, announced that his company, in conjunction with the Central de Trabajadores de Mexico (CTM) of Jalisco and Puerto Vallarta's three taxi drivers' unions, have submitted a proposal to improve the city's taxi services.
Their intention is to install computerized mechanisms in taxis that will not only allow passengers to pay their cab fares by credit card, but will also supply current news and weather, flight information, and public service announcements.
This system also features a GPS that tracks each unit 24-hours-a-day, (which is useful in case of an accident,) as well as driving directions and dynamic maps that allow for location-based advertising that includes special promotions, coupon books and discounts.
According to CTM general secretary, Hector Sanchez Cardenas, it will also save passengers time, as they can pay for everyday services such as cellular airtime and electricity bills, make reservations for restaurants, hotels, and various other tourism-related services - and even purchase National Lottery tickets - along the way.
This system is a great way for local, regional, national and international businesses to advertise their products and services to a "captive audience." It also offer taxi drivers the opportunity to earn additional income, as they will receive commissions for the products and services that are sold from their cabs.
Since the drivers will have to learn how to operate the computerized units, at the moment they are contemplating an initial installation in 20 of the 1145 taxis currently operating in Puerto Vallarta. This figure corresponds to the number of taxis that service the hotel zone, but they hope to have the system installed in all of the city's taxis within two years.
It is important to note that this project will not be imposed on the taxi drivers. "We are not imposing anything on anyone here. We've already spoken with the drivers for their views on the matter, and it will be up to them to decide whether they will be added or not. What is more, this project is 100% transparent," Sanchez Cardenas asserted.Umbrella Media has been a leader of innovation in the transportation technological market for over 30 years, and were responsible for the installation of a similar system in London's taxicabs prior to the 2012 Olympic Games. Puerto Vallarta will be the first tourist destination in Mexico to have this equipment in taxis, but the company's goal is to expand to other destinations like Cancun, Guadalajara, Los Cabos and more.