Uber Suspends Service in Cancun After 15 Torrid Months

By Elliot Bullman

Following 15 fractious months of operating in defiance of state law in Quintana Roo, Mexico, Uber announced that it would suspend activities on Wednesday as a “gesture of collaboration.”

The ride-share company plans to resume legally in the New Year under a state Mobility Law, which is expected to pass soon in the state legislature.

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Around 1,000 drivers answer the call when passengers engage the Uber smartphone app. Local taxi drivers have been hostile Uber drivers moving in on their turf.

The digital platform entered Cancun in September 2016. Since then, more than 300,000 customers have used the service. Of those, 60 percent have been national and international tourists.

Uber’s spokesman, Carlos Olivos said a pause in activity is the best way to advance the talks and restart the year in a safe environment after the hostile reaction by local taxi driver unions. Taxi drivers have been confrontational, hunting down Uber drivers, often attacking them physically and damaging their cars.

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The Mobility Law will set standards for the vehicle and decide whether cash payments should be allowed.Uber prefers credit card payments so that drivers aren’t crime targets.

In neighbouring Yucatán state, where Uber operates in its capital Mérida,it was the law that was put on pause. Uber got a break from a federal judge who suspended state regulations while their constitutionality is analysed.

And in Campeche, Uber is ending operations today after 15 contentious months, without any timeline for a return.

“We hope to return to Campeche when the economic and political environment is conducive to innovation and technology,” reads a statement onUber’s Facebook page.

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