With the hashtag ‘A day without taxis’, various groups of people with their own cars called for others to give a lift on Friday.
But a usual, persistent downpour had Cancún residents scramble to get any means of transportation they could get their hands on, and the taxi drivers’ union began apologizing for this week’s events.
Some streets in Cancún were partially flooded, slowing traffic and long lines of passengers waiting for the ubiquitous vans most workers use to get to work. A regular taxi from the airport to Cancún’s Hotel Zone normally costs $50, a price most locals can’t afford.
Rumors circulated throughout the day that taxis registered in Cancun would offer unlimited rides for about $1.25, something the union quickly denied. There were also reports that Uber would give free rides. Uber did not immediately comment on that.
Ruben Carrillo, leader of Cancún’s taxi drivers’ union, apologized late Thursday in a taped message, though he also accused Uber drivers of “making fun of ordinary taxi drivers.”
“We do not condone any protests that affect third parties, be they residents or much less tourists, nor any form of violence, such as blocking roads or chasing Uber vehicles, as has happened in recent days,” Carrillo said. .
Ride-hailing apps were blocked in Cancun until earlier this month, when a court issued an order allowing Uber to operate. The mainstream taxi drivers’ union argues that because no state regulations have been approved for ride-hailing apps, they remain illegal.
Monday’s protests forced some tourists to walk or ride in police pickups to catch their flights or check into hotels.