State Dept. warns Cancún visitors against Ubers as taxis protest

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of US embassies and consulates in Mexico issued on monday security alert For the state of Quintana Roo, home to Cancun, the Riviera Maya and Tulum, app-based car services such as Uber and Cabify risk entangling passengers in a tense exchange between drivers competing for fares. I am warning you.

The State Department says transit apps “generally provide another safe alternative to taxis.” recent controversy The app’s drivers and taxi unions have “occasionally become violent, in some cases causing injuries to U.S. citizens,” a warning reads.

Travel Alert Came As Local Licensed Taxi Driver protesting To blocking Cancun hotel zone road Tourists abandoning their vehicles and walking to the airport Or escorted by police, La Jornada newspaper report.

According to Cecilia Román Quijas, head of safety communications at Uber Mexico, Uber has dedicated teams in the United States and Mexico that work with law enforcement and provide 24/7 support.

In an email, Roman said it was important to clarify that the warning was specific to Cancun because of “widely publicized incidents in very specific tourist destinations.” of the State Department Regular travel advisories,she said.

Natalia de la Rosa Hilario, food writer and operations leader for a food tour company in Mexico club tengo hambre, said the conflict between the local taxi industry and Uber is nothing new.When Protests go back nearly a decade“It started since Uber arrived in mexico,” she said.

Frank Harrison, Regional Security Director for the Americas, said: world travel protectionTravel risk management company up to date flash point Whole country Anti-Uber sentiment within the taxi industry.

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De la Rosa Hilario said there are benefits for travelers visiting Mexico using Uber, saying that the app will allow drivers to be tracked, see where they are going, and not have to exchange cash. I pointed out that it felt safer for women.

But “Don’t get me wrong, Uber isn’t the best either,” says de la Rosa Hilario.She is aware of similar start-ups using surge price It can threaten the lives of licensed taxi drivers.

Román said safety features in Uber’s U.S. app are also available to passengers and drivers in Mexico. This includes an in-app emergency button to call 911. share my trip When ride check (perceives long delays and route deviations), among others.

Harrison said Uber is the preferred mode of transportation for many American travelers, but anyone using the app or similar services should understand local sentiment. Becoming a taxi company or driver requires a license, a fee and an inspection, Harrison said. He added that drivers take pride in their service and may resent transportation startups.

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Harrison prefers to use licensed taxi drivers when traveling (they can be a good source of local information and recommendations), but hotels have shuttles to and from the hotel. It is also a good idea to check whether or not you can arrange a pick-up by a trusted driver.

Unfortunately, Harrison says: fake uber When taxi Be careful in Mexico. If you notice a bad ride, you should get out of the car, take a picture of the vehicle plate and report it to the local tourist police, he said.

In an email to The Washington Post, a State Department spokesperson repeated the information in the alert and urged everyone planning a trip to Mexico to read it. Full travel advisories for the country on that website.

“We also encourage U.S. citizens traveling abroad to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( can receive important destination-related messages directly, including timely alerts and travel advisory updates,” the email said.

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