The carrier Uber is confident about the generation of up to 20,000 jobs and reach two other cities in Mexico, being one of them, Mérida, according to Ana Paula Blanco, director of Communication for Latin America in an interview with EFE News.
“We have plans for expansion in a couple of cities but cannot give more details,” She said, recalling that Mexico “is the largest operation in Latin America and one of the most important for Uber internationally.
Ana Paula Blanco recalled that the key point of Uber “is for the costumer to have a personal driver five minutes away from where you are” and explained that in Mexico, where it already operates in Mexico City, Tijuana, Guadalajara and Monterrey, the company has “the expectation of generating between 15,000 to 20,000 jobs.”
She educed that one of the main reasons for the success of Uber in Mexico City and Bogota Colombia is that this two large urban spots are –“the two most unsafe cities in the world for women… so the company”- explained Blanco, -“has rigorous systems for selecting driving partners for the reassurance of customers. In addition, certification and insurance of the car and the driver is a must have as well as a letter of non criminal record, psychological evaluations, and other exams about trust, knowledge of the city and special training. The greater use made of this service is to go out at night to drink alcohol and not have to drive, an option that becomes more attractive to several people that can share the vehicle fare by dividing the rates by routes. In Guadalajara, for instance, 80 percent of Uber night transportations is with at least three people.”- She explained.
In addition to Mexico, Uber services are also available in Panama, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Brazil. It recently signed a strategic alliance with the phone company owned by Mexican mogul Carlos Slim, to provide telephone service to the drivers in Latin America, among other advantages.
“We are very pleased with the agreement since they have understood how useful innovation can be for smartphone users.” Blanco commented.
As it has happened in other parts of the world, despite its growth, the company has found in Latin America resistance of workforces, companies and associations of traditional transportation, especially since they claim that Uber´s activity is not regulated. As an example, the Taxi Organized Group of Mexico City, this past December of 2014, presented a legal complaint before the district attorney against the Secretary of Mobility and Transportation Rufino Leon Tovar, for “failure to act” since he allowed the operation of Uber and another company that handles similar services, Cabify.
According to Ana Blanco Uber fits because it is an agreement between two private parties regarding the contracting of a very specific service of transportation, mentioned in “Article 10 of the Law of Mobility” of Mexico City. Uber is not a service that goes against the taxis, since it is a different choice for users.”
The carrier, which is based in San Francisco USA, has been involved during recent months in several scandals globally, after being sued by the city of Portland Oregon, USA and authorities have banned their service in the Netherlands and Spain. In New Delhi, India, Uber is currently battling a legal prosecution since one of their drivers has been accused of allegedly raping a woman.
One thing is for sure, if Uber comes to the Southeast of Mexico, whether is Merida or Cancun/Playa del Carmen, we will see much discomfort from traditional transporters that basically offer a bad and expensive service with automobiles in poor shape, but then again, Uber is marketed for a different type of client, that has the means to contract this particular type of service. It will be an interesting situation to follow and a few questions remain… Will traditional transporters improve and step up in their quality? Or they will throw temper tantrums, block city streets and fight companies such as Uber or Cabify, but remain with their crap units and horrible, expensive service? This is just starting.
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