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The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico on Monday issued a security alert for the state of Quintana Roo — dwelling to Cancún, the Riviera Maya and Tulum — warning that hiring application-based automotive providers corresponding to Uber and Cabify may put passengers liable to getting caught in a tense alternate between drivers competing for fares.

Whereas the State Division has mentioned transportation apps “generally offer another safe alternative to taxis,” recent disputes between drivers for the apps and taxi unions “have occasionally turned violent, resulting in injuries to U.S. citizens in some instances,” the alert learn.

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

In accordance with 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 prospects 24/7 help.

Román mentioned in an e mail it’s vital to make clear that the alert was particular to Cancún due to “widely publicized incidents in a very specific tourist destination.” She pointed to the State Division’s regular travel advisories, which she mentioned “repeatedly refer to Uber as a safe alternative throughout the country.”

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

Frank Harrison, regional safety director for the Americas at World Travel Protection, a journey risk-management firm, agreed that the present points in Cancún and Quintana Roo are simply the latest 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, stating the app can really feel safer for girls as a result of the driving force is tracked, you possibly can see the place you’re going and also you don’t need to alternate money.

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

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

Harrison mentioned whereas Uber is a most popular transportation possibility for a lot of American vacationers, anybody utilizing the app or comparable providers want to know the native sentiment. Being a taxi firm or a driver requires licensing, charges and inspections, Harrison famous. He added that drivers take satisfaction of their service and should 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 fake Ubers and taxis to be cautious of in Mexico. In case you’ve found you’re coping with a foul experience, he mentioned, it’s best to get out of the automotive, try to take an image of the license plate and report it to the native vacationer police.

In an e mail to The Put up, a State Division spokesperson reiterated the data within the alert and inspired anybody planning a visit to Mexico to learn the full travel advisory for the country on its web site.

“We also encourage U.S. citizens traveling overseas to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP.state.gov) to receive important messages about their destination(s) directly, including timely Alerts and updates to Travel Advisories,” the e-mail mentioned.

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