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Thursday, March 30, 2023

New toll hike on Mérida-Cancún highway breaks 600-peso mark

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Price increases along the Mérida-Valladolid-Cancún highway are making drivers angrier and angrier. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

One of Mexico’s most expensive toll roads just got pricier. 

As of yesterday, the cost of driving the Mérida-Cancún highway broke the 600-peso mark, to 608 to be precise.

The increase has been met with frustration by drivers, as price hikes along this route have become routine.

But adding insult to injury is that because of work on the Mayan Train, this “faster route” is currently a single lane along long stretches of highway. 

“We are constantly being expected to pay more and more for a road that is getting worse and worse. It’s nothing short of infuriating,” said Juan Mendéz, who regularly commutes between Mérida and Valladolid for work.

Earlier: The dangerous pattern emerging on the Mérida-Cancún toll highway

While there is a public, free single-lane highway connecting Mérida and Cancun, this road has also become slow due to overflow from drivers refusing to pay the toll.

The number of fatal accidents along both highways has also increased dramatically, both as a result of impulsive driving and construction accidents involving the Mayan Train

As pressure to accelerate construction along the route of the Mayan Train increased, so have construction-related accidents, both for workers and commuters. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Just last week, Roberto Lugo Cetina, a 26-year-old politician from Izamal, lost his life in an accident involving heavy machinery building the Mayan Train. 

The Mérida-Cancun toll highway was built in 1990 by Consorcio del Mayab and was granted the concession to collect tolls for 30 years. When the time was up, the government sold the concession to Grupo ICA instead of making it a free public highway as had been promised in 1990 by then-President Carlos Salinas de Gortari. 

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