In the summer of 2015, Mexico City approved the use of App-Cab private car services such as Uber and Cabify, and thus became the first city in Latin America to formally approve the new taxi cabs of the Internet Age.
The booking of cabs using smartphones has been taken-up in earnest by taxi users in Mexico and Uber, the leading App-Cab company operating here, has recently announced further expansion to its services, with the ‘Ubers’ now available in fourteen cities across the country.
Customers using the Uber service can now book cabs in Mexico City, Toluca, Cuernavaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Leon, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Hermosillo, Tijuana, Mexicali, and Merida.
Cabify, the principal App-Cab competitor to Uber, operates primarily in Mexico City, although its services are gradually expanding to some other Mexican cities.
The expansion of the Uber and Cabify services has not arrived without issues. Traditional cab drivers continue to feel threatened by the new services and have been staging demonstrations in cities where Uber is launched. Uber has also been criticized by its own customers, for example, when some Uber cabbies fail to show up for booked fares; and when Mexico City recently implemented additional restrictions to car use in the capital to control air pollution, the company was chastised for allowing fare multiples to rise by up to 9x usual fare levels.
Uber’s rapid expansion does demonstrate that consumers want a choice in the way they hire cabs and its expansion from one Mexican city to fourteen in the space of three years illustrates that real demand for App-Cab services exists in Mexico.
While Uber and Cabify are redefining the relationship between taxi services and their customers in Mexico’s key cities, traditional street cabs and taxi cab ranks – known in Mexico as sitios – continue to operate, and many people will have the telephone number of at least one local sitio stored in their contacts, whether they use Uber or not.
You can learn more about how to get around in Mexico by cab—including street cabs, sitios and App-Cabs—by reading our extensive Guide to Taxi Travel in Mexico, here on Mexperience.
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