Mexico taxi drivers file complaint over Uber, Cabify apps

Dec 12, 2014, 08:30 IST | Agencies

Mexico City: Representatives of 10,000 Mexico City taxi drivers have brought an illegal transportation complaint against the owners of the smartphone applications Uber and Cabify and this capital's mobility secretary.

The group, Organised Taxi Drivers of Mexico City, filed the complaint Wednesday against Mobility Secretary Rufino H. Leon Tovar and the companies that own these smartphone apps, which connect drivers with people in need of cab service.

"Not only is there omission in not enforcing the law, but there also appears to be collusion on the part of the mobility secretary because now they're looking for ways to bring them in, contrary to the ban imposed in other countries," taxi drivers' representative Daniel Medina said.

In countries such as Germany, France, Colombia, the Netherlands and in some US states, companies have been hit with fines and had their cars taken out of circulation for using these rideshare and taxi service apps, he said.

The complaint accuses the capital's mobility secretariat of not taking action against these services, which impose their own fares and thus usurp the government's role in establishing prices.

The taxi drivers say authorities have failed to enforce existing regulations for years and have allowed Uber, which has operated in Mexico City since August 2013, to violate the current mobility law.

That law's Article 258 states that companies commit the crime of "illegal passenger or cargo transport" when they use vehicles lacking "a concession or permit issued by the (mobility) secretariat for those purposes."

Uber halted its operations in New Delhi Sunday after one of its drivers was arrested for allegedly raping a passenger, Medina noted, adding that that app-based taxi service has also been suspended in Madrid because the company has not complied with public-transport licensing and fare requirements.

The taxi drivers' group recalled that Leon Tovar himself told the media Oct 30 that companies providing taxi service using the Uber and Cabify smartphone apps were breaking the law.

Vehicles providing cab service "without (designated taxi) licence plates and meters are pirates and these vehicles don't have them," Medina said.

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