Have you wondered what Playa Del Carmen taxis think about Uber? What is their main objection to Uber operating in the Riviera Maya? What does the taxi union think about public relations? We worked hard to get a rare opportunity to talk to the public relations of the Sindicato de Taxistas in Playa Del Carmen. We got to ask all the questions many of you wondered. Here is our interview.
Playa Del Carmen Taxis, Uber and Public Relations Interview
Here is the video we made for you. We tried to include most of the original video. We did get to talk to them for an extended time and we needed to edit it down to a manageable length. Below the video we discuss things more in length.
What is the main objection to Uber coming to the Rivera Maya?
As you heard in the video the main objection is the what they believe the law to state about needing a special concession from the government. The Taxi Union states that Article 31 Bis states the need for government approval and licensing of transport that acts like a taxi service. To read what Article 31 is you can read it in Spanish here.
The use of Uber with drivers that do not have to pay special licenses and have permits brings concern of unfair competition. Uber also brings questions of taxes and how drivers will tribute to the collection of taxes.
What do airport transfer companies think of Uber in Cancun?
We also went to Cancun to talk to one manager of an airport transportation company. We asked Mr. Flores what his opinion was of Uber coming to Cancun. Mr. Flores stated that he likes completion and thinks that is a good thing. He did continue by saying it is good to have services that people like. He did however state that other companies like his have to pay fees and licenses to enter certain areas and pick up people. This creates an unfair situation and burden for his company.
What is required of Playa Del Carmen taxis?
At the heart of the discussion of fair competition is what is required of taxi drivers and other transportation companies. Here are is a beak down of some of the fees taxi drivers in Playa Del Carmen are required to pay.
- A one time Union Fee of about 30,000-35,000 pesos.
- Special taxi drivers license each year of about 1000 pesos.
- Insurance for your car that covers a taxi- about 12,000-13,000 pesos a year.
- If you do not own a car you pay between 300-600 pesos a day for the car.
- Taxi plates for the car, 8000 pesos a month.
- Then there are the other things like maintenance, gas, union fees
So you can see with the expenses taxi drivers in Playa Del Carmen have to pay out substantial.
What have some taxi drivers done to improve service?
You might ask yourself, well if the Playa Del Carmen taxi drivers knew there was a chance Uber was coming, why did they not improve service? Public opinion of the taxis in Playa Del Carmen is low and often a topic of conversation online. A lot of public sentiment is very pro Uber because it challenges the current system.
One that has been done is establish a new Public Relations Department. There are seven people that work in this department. They have the job of expanding service to hotels and working with transforming some of the perceptions of the taxis in Playa Del Carmen. This was launched in the spring of 2016.
There have been some drivers that are concerned about providing good service for people in Playa Del Carmen. One group of taxi drivers have formed TaxiPlaya. This is a WhatsApp taxi service that you can send a message to. Taxi drivers are invited to this group that will give good service to customers and honor prices. You are guaranteed the prices stated on the taxi charts. For this service you pay 10 pesos on the normal fare.
The new world of business and the sharing economy
The world of business crosses international borders and new things are at your fingertips of your phone, the world is changing. Sometimes it is too fast for laws to keep up with or tax regulations. When things change there are people that get caught in the transition. We can see how the taxi drivers are caught between the laws, union, governor and demands of the people.
The sharing economy is brining new opportunities to people to rent their spaces and transport differently. This new sharing is also bring problems that only become evident later.
Change takes time and one thing we all can do is be empathetic to the situation of others. True it is easy to dislike the service of many taxi drivers but there are others that love their job and take pride in it. Sometimes when we know more of the situation we can be more understanding.
Will Uber come to Playa Del Carmen?
It will be a matter of time to see if Uber comes to Playa Del Carmen. It will depend on several things. It will depend on the government of the State of Quintana Roo, the laws on the books, the judicial department to judge the laws and some to do with the will of the people. It will be an interesting road ahead. The only thing constant is change itself. We will be here on the forefront seeing how this unfolds and will keep you up to date on everything.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Uber will come to Playa Del Carmen? Is there a fair way to allow competition between Playa Del Carmen taxis and Uber? Let us know in the comments below.