The way tourists in Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum ride in a taxi will change next year.
The Secretary of Government Cristina Torres recently confirmed that taxi drivers in several parts of the State of Quintana Roo will be required to transport tourists in the area using a taxi meter effective next year.
The Issues with Taxis
It’s one of the complaints that many travelers have when visiting popular tourist destinations in the Mexican Caribbean.
Visitors specifically cite the unpleasantness of pushy and aggressive taxi vendors at the airport and the lack of clarity about taxi rates and charges until it is too late.
Tourists were then forced to pay exorbitant rates in some cases or even threatened that law enforcement would be notified if they did not pay.
Taxi Meters Go into Effect
Based upon the complaints, the State of Quintana Roo government stepped in to resolve the issue and make the customer experience of getting around the area in a taxi more pleasant for travelers.
Starting next year, taxis operating in the region will have regulated rates and will require drivers to improve their vehicles and provide better service to riders.
The introduction and enforcement of taxi meters in Quintana Roo will be implemented in waves. First up will be Benito Juárez, Solidaridad, Tulum and Puerto Morelos.
Digital Technology Deployed
To help build confidence with travelers to the region, government officials will ensure that the taxicabs install digital meters with safeguards that automatically start with a pick-up.
The use of the meters and reporting of rides will be strictly monitored by state officials to ensure compliance and fairness when transporting travelers.
Drivers will not be charged for the service and special surcharges should not occur for tourists taking taxi services with the new digital meters in place.
Planned Start Mid-Year
State officials admit that it will take them a while to get the meters installed and the monitoring system in place to make sure that travelers to Quintana Roo’s travel hotspots are being charged fairly for their rides.
The whole system is expected to be ready by mid-year, shortly after the brand-new international airport in Tulum is expected to start receiving direct international flights.
It will initially affect Tulum, along with Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen), Benito Juárez (Cancun), Tulum, and Puerto Morelos.
Tips for Tourists
Tourists should be aware that the meters will soon be in effect for their convenience and protection. They should also insist that taxi drivers use them.
There may be instances when a taxi driver may try to avoid using the meter and charge a “flat fee” which is well over what the meter would have charged.
If that is the case, travelers to the area are requested to report the violation to local law enforcement authorities noting the taxi driver’s vehicle license plate, vehicle number, or even the operator’s license number.
Enforcement and proper reporting of tax driver violations will actually make the entire transportation system more reliable for all travelers on a beach vacation to the Mexican Caribbean’s hotspots.
Of course, those who want to avoid the entire issue with taxi meters and potential confrontation with drivers and vendors can always select to take a ride using popular rideshare apps, such as Uber.
The ride-share apps provide a fixed fee for a ride that is often cheaper, or at least competitive, than the comparable taxi ride.
The rideshare apps even were recently approved to pick up and drop off passengers at local airports by the end of the year, including Cancun International Airport and soon at Tulum International Airport.