Taxi drivers take part in a protest against the private taxi company Uber
Mexico City - Arab Today
Mexico City's government imposed regulations for ride-booking applications such as Uber and Cabify, requiring them to get permits to operate and pay a fee following an uproar from taxi drivers.
Uber welcomed the move but the capital's taxi drivers association said it fell well short of their demands to end what they see as an unfair competitive advantage for apps.
The rules published in the government's official journal say that app operators will have to contribute 1.5 percent from each ride to a special fund to improve taxi service in the mega-capital.
The regulation sets conditions for the type of cars that can be part of an app's fleet: they must be worth at least 200,000 pesos ($12,650) and have four doors, air conditioning, working seatbelts and airbags.
Drivers will not be allowed to accept cash payments. Uber rides are booked with a credit card.
Taxi drivers in cities around the world have complained that Uber drivers, who are booked via a smartphone application, are poorly regulated and provide unfair competition.
Mexico City taxi drivers snarled traffic in a massive anti-Uber protest in May, complaining that app operators do not have to pay the huge fees that cabs are charged by the government.
Ruben Alcantara, leader of a large taxi association, said drivers would meet to decide how to respond on the "affront and trickery by the government."
"It's not possible that foreigners come here and fool the city government, and that disorder continues to prevail," Alcantara told AFP, adding that the published regulations are different from what had been discussed with the authorities.
But Uber welcomed the capital's new regulations.
"Today Mexico City's megalopolis is making history," the US company said on its website.
"Mexico's capital -– one of the most complex cities in the world –- now has modern, forward-looking regulations echoing the principles of Uber's business model: the logic of supply and demand alongside a citizen's ability to choose how they move around their city."