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Uber to shake up taxi trade in Mérida

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A taxi driver using a traditional Mexican wrestler's mask takes part in a march to protest against the private taxi company Uber for alleged unfair competition, in Mexico City on May 25, 2015. Photo:  Yuri Cortez / AFP / Getty Images
A taxi driver using a traditional Mexican wrestler’s mask takes part in a march to protest against the private taxi company Uber for alleged unfair competition, in Mexico City on May 25, 2015. Photo: Yuri Cortez / AFP / Getty Images

Mérida, Yucatán — Uber, the ride-sharing program that has caused shockwaves in Mexico City, will expand to six new cities, including here.

In addition, Uber will be hiring drivers in Aguascalientes, Cuernavaca, Hermosillo, Mexicali and San Luis Potosi; start dates have not been specified.

In an email sent to drivers,  Uber unveiled its expansion plans.

“Take this opportunity to establish a new business. Be one of our first partners by clicking on any of the following buttons,” reads the message where the six cities are added. Applications are being taken here.

Uber already has operations in Mexico City, Puebla, Queretaro, Tijuana, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Leon and Toluca. In Mexico City last summer, taxi drivers protested in demonstrations that turned violent. Video showed people throwing eggs and flour inside the windows of vehicles, kicking doors and trying to rip off side mirrors. One man destroyed a sedan’s rear window with a large rock.

Uber is an app-based business that competes with taxis. Drivers use their own cars, and connect to riders and receive payments via smart-phone.

Local versions of Uber, like Ryde & Go, started in Mérida last year.

Uber made its entry into the Mexican transport service industry in 2013.

As reported in REPORTUR.mx, Uber came close to reaching a deal in Cancun, but the Congress of Quintana Roo promoted a law blocking it and protecting taxi unions.

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