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The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico on Monday issued a safety alert for the state of Quintana Roo — residence to Cancún, the Riviera Maya and Tulum — warning that hiring application-based automobile companies similar to Uber and Cabify may put passengers liable to getting caught in a tense trade between drivers competing for fares.

Whereas the State Division has mentioned transportation apps “usually supply one other protected different to taxis,” latest disputes between drivers for the apps and taxi unions “have often turned violent, leading to accidents to U.S. residents in some situations,” the alert learn.

The journey alert got here because the area’s licensed taxi drivers have been protesting by blocking the highway to Cancun’s lodge zone, resulting in vacationers abandoning rides to stroll to the airport or get escorted by police, La Jornada newspaper reported.

Based on Cecilia Román Quijas, head of security communications for Uber Mexico, the corporate has groups in the USA and Mexico devoted to working with police and offering clients 24/7 help.

Román mentioned in an electronic mail it’s essential to make clear that the alert was particular to Cancún due to “extensively publicized incidents in a really particular vacationer vacation spot.” She pointed to the State Division’s common journey advisories, which she mentioned “repeatedly seek advice from Uber as a protected different all through the nation.”

Natalia de la Rosa Hilario, a meals author and operations chief for the Mexico food-tour firm Membership Tengo Hambre, says battle between the native taxi trade and Uber will not be new. With protests going again practically a decade, “it began since Uber bought to Mexico,” she mentioned.

Frank Harrison, regional safety director for the Americas at World Journey Safety, a journey risk-management firm, agreed that the present points in Cancún and Quintana Roo are simply the newest flash level within the nationwide anti-Uber sentiment throughout the taxi trade.

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De la Rosa Hilario mentioned there are benefits to utilizing Uber for vacationers visiting Mexico, mentioning the app can really feel safer for ladies as a result of the driving force is tracked, you’ll be able to see the place you’re going and also you don’t need to trade money.

However “don’t get me unsuitable — Uber is just not the perfect, both,” de la Rosa Hilario mentioned. She acknowledges that comparable start-ups use surge-pricing practices and might threaten licensed taxi drivers’ livelihood.

Román mentioned that the protection options in Uber’s U.S. app are additionally obtainable to riders and drivers in Mexico. That features an in-app emergency button to name 911, Share My Journey and RideCheck (which senses lengthy delays or route deviations), amongst others.

Harrison mentioned whereas Uber is a most well-liked transportation choice for a lot of American vacationers, anybody utilizing the app or comparable companies want to grasp the native sentiment. Being a taxi firm or a driver requires licensing, charges and inspections, Harrison famous. He added that drivers take pleasure of their service and will resent transportation start-ups.

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Whereas Harrison mentioned he prefers utilizing licensed taxi drivers when touring — they could be a useful supply of native info and suggestions — he additionally recommends checking to see whether or not your lodge has a courtesy shuttle or can prepare a pickup for you with a trusted driver.

Sadly, Harrison mentioned, there are points with each faux Ubers and taxis to be cautious of in Mexico. For those who’ve found you’re coping with a nasty trip, he mentioned, it is best to get out of the automobile, try to take an image of the registration code and report it to the native vacationer police.

In an electronic mail to The Publish, a State Division spokesperson reiterated the knowledge within the alert and inspired anybody planning a visit to Mexico to learn the complete journey advisory for the nation on its web site.

“We additionally encourage U.S. residents touring abroad to enroll within the Sensible Traveler Enrollment Program ( to obtain essential messages about their vacation spot(s) straight, together with well timed Alerts and updates to Journey Advisories,” the e-mail mentioned.

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