Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Local taxi drivers are up in arms after Uber Technologies, a ridesharing service which uses a smartphone application to arrange transportation between riders and drivers, announced last weekend that it would be setting up in Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit via a "Drivers Wanted" ad on their website.
Puerto Vallarta's Taxi Drivers Union strongly opposes Uber's entry into the tourism destination, saying that Uber doesn't have the necessary authorization to operate in the municipality, and Puerto Vallarta's 3,000 taxi drivers are willing to protest to prevent their fares being taken away.
"If it's necessary to demonstrate we'll do so in a peaceful and respectful manner, but we'll do it with all our families," said Jaime Aguilar Mejía, general secretary of the local taxi drivers' union. According to Aguilar Mejía the movement against Uber will also be joined by taxi drivers at Puerto Vallarta's International Airport and Maritime Terminal, as well as those operating in Bahía de Banderas, Nayarit.
Movimiento Ciudadano Deputy, Ramón Demetrio Guerrero, a local politician and former mayor of Puerto Vallarta, is on their side and warned Uber's presence would create a negative impact for many families in the Banderas Bay area.
In a statement issued on June 8th, the official said that legislation in both Jalisco and Nayarit doesn't permit the ride-hailing service. He said that general terms stipulate that permits for passenger transportation are only authorized for taxis, and there is no place for any other type of service.
The Deputy made a call to the Governor of Jalisco, Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval, to declare the authorization of Uber in Puerto Vallarta unjust.
Felipe Aréchiga Gómez, the General Secretary of the Taxi Driver's Union, said drivers have been working with the state for three years to make sure they comply with certifications required by law. They are also developing a mobile platform to become more innovative.
An Uber spokesman said the company was "passionate about improving your city," and promised to boost the local economy and make streets safer by reducing the number of drunk or distracted drivers and promoting an environment that was more connected and less congested.Sources: Milenio • Mexico News Daily