Mérida, Yucatán — Looking for a little extra income, at least 50 people attended the first day of Uber’s recruitment drive at the Hotel Fiesta Inn near the Siglo XXI Convention Center. Professionals, students and homemakers were all represented among the applicants.
Uber announced last week a major expansion across Mexico that includes Mérida. Last summer, Uber arrived in Mexico City, much to the display of the taxi unions, who so far have managed to keep the ride-sharing service out of Cancun.
The service is an app-based high-tech rideshare program which has undercut the taxi business in countries all around the world. Drivers are Uber “partners,” and use their own cars and modern technology to connect with riders, who have pre-paid everything with a credit card on file.
Meanwhile, the Yucatán taxi union FUTV, in commemoration of their 80th anniversary, unveiled the app Mi Taxi Yucatán, to modernize their system. The app was created while anticipating Uber’s competition. The Mi Taxi Yucatán app can locate and book cabs, but unlike the Uber app, it cannot complete payment, making taxi rides a cash transaction as before.
At the hotel, Uber’s applicants were asked for documents including birth certificate, driver’s license and a criminal background check. Education and foreign-language proficiency was also asked.
Juan Adolfo Sánchez Quiñones, 60, a retired CFE engineer, was among the applicants who spoke to Milenio Novedades.
“I came accompanied by my son, we both want to be part of Uber,” he said. “I have a CFE pension and my son has a small electrical maintenance business, but we needs extra income to pay family expenses.”
Mariana Fernández Monjarrez, a public accountant who teaches at a school in the city, also attended the meeting with Uber to seek to improve their income.
“We do not see it as a competition for taxi drivers in the city. We see this as an emerging plan to assist in family spending, because we are not full-time as them,” she said.
Interviews and meetings with potential Uber partners continue this week as pre-registration continues online.