You're out of luck if you were planning to hop in an Uber during an upcoming trip to Cancun. The ride-hailing company recently made the decision to suspend operations in the popular Mexican resort destination. The move comes following nearly a year of problems involving Mexican officials and local taxi companies. The suspension formally became effective just a few days after Christmas.
A Look at Uber's History in Cancun
Uber had only been present in Cancun's transportation market for a year before making the decision to suspend operations at the end of 2017. Uber was able to provide rides to more than 300,000 customers during that short span. More than 60 percent of the people who used Uber in Cancun were tourists.
Unfortunately, issues cropped up pretty quickly following Uber's arrival in sunny Cancun. The trade unions of taxi drivers in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo have been hostile toward Uber and Uber drivers ever since the company began offering services in Cancun.
Uber gained many enemies throughout the Quintana Roo region after protesting a new mobility law that placed restrictions on the transportation company. Uber would no longer be able to accept cash payments from passengers under the new rules. This was viewed as being problematic by Uber because of the fact that tourists often prefer to pay with cash. The restriction could easily cause Uber to lose 40 percent of its business in Cancun.
Local authorities are now going back to the table to try to alter the current laws to allow for Uber to be able to operate more freely. Uber's decision to temporarily cease operations in the region was viewed as a gesture of goodwill that demonstrated to lawmakers that the company is willing to cooperate with them and avoid ruffling any more feathers until the matter is legally settled.
Will Uber Be Back in Cancun?
Uber's departure from Cancun at the end of December probably isn't the end of the story. The company made the decision to halt operations in Cancun in an attempt to preserve the safety of its drivers and ease tensions with locals. The tensions between Uber drivers and union taxi drivers in the area were escalating quickly. Members of taxi unions had recently threatened to attack people who agreed to work as partners with Uber. It is unlikely that tensions will die down at any point in the near future.
However, Uber has not stated that it will pull out of Cancun permanently. The company is still providing technical support for its drivers. Nobody is certain how long that support will continue. Uber executives have indicated that the company will formally cease all operations in the area on a permanent basis if an agreement cannot be reached. Executives from Uber noted that the company's withdrawal from Cancun could certainly paint the city in a bad light on a global scale. This comes at a time when travel warnings and bad press have already placed shadows over Cancun and other popular tourist destinations in Mexico.