Mérida, Yucatán — Just how many Uber drivers are circling the city’s streets waiting for their smartphones to ping is unknown. But they are indeed circling, handing taxi drivers new, digital-age competition.
They began officially today at 7 a.m.
The drivers “are not pirates,” insists Luis De Uriarte, director of communication for Uber in Mexico and Latin America.
Uber is a ride-sharing system based on a smartphone app. Drivers use their own cars after being vetted by Uber; riders select them in real-time on an app, and the entire transaction is conducted invisibly, online.
But taxi drivers across Latin America have protested Uber, often with angry demonstrations that stall traffic or in some cases wreck property.
Uber also started operations in Aguascalientes, Cuernavaca, Hermosillo, Mexicali and San Luis Potosi.
Before being activated on the platform, Uber drivers must go through a selection process and their car must be deemed suitable.
The vetting process is continual. Drivers rate riders on the app; the average score of “driving partners” in Mexico is 4.7 stars out of five.
Sources: Press release, Diario de Yucatán