Uber can once again legally operate in Cancun following a ruling issued by a federal court in Quintana Roo on January 11th, 2023.
A quick opening of the Uber app from the Cancun Hotel Zone indicated that cabs were available within 5 minutes of range – refer screenshot below:
But there’s more to this than what meets the eye. Let’s dive deeper…
Why Are Uber Drivers Facing Resistance In Cancun?
Uber faced many challenges and obstacles from the local taxi unions which weren’t particularly subtle in expressing displeasure with the new transport service provider in town.
The main reason behind these bold acts of displeasure was Uber being able to forego the same payment regulations and license fees that normal local taxi service providers have to undergo. There’s more to the picture obviously.
App-based ride-sharing services like Uber have fixed rates. Even with prices surging during peak hours, customers know exactly how much the trip is going to cost, no matter where they are heading. But with local taxis, drivers can change prices to suit their fancy, especially when they know they are dealing with a tourist.
Uber helps avoid these issues, and this might have been very disadvantageous to some local taxi providers, that have made it a habit of inflating prices at will to make an easy buck.
This resulted in Uber drivers being harassed and the service getting restricted, which unsurprisingly led to the suspension of the service in 2017.
Reports from various tourists to Cancun at the time explained that though Uber was legally available, it was impossible to get a ride confirmed because of the intimidating presence of the local taxi union.
Some went as far as to state that it was unsafe not just for the Uber driver but the passenger who chose Uber as well.
Are Any App-based Local Taxi Services Available In Cancun?
Not any that we can recommend with confidence (right now at least). That said, it would be wrong to say that local taxi companies aren’t taking serious efforts to regulate their rates by introducing meters to cab drivers.
This would indicate a fixed rate per distance travelled, so drivers cannot demand any price they want.
However, there are alternative options available. Let’s look at what those options are.
Travel Options Available In Cancun
Cancun Airport Transportation
It’s a private company that has been operating in Cancun, and it provides different options for airport transportation. This transport service is highly recommended since it even has service facilities for physically impaired travellers.
If you’re planning to visit any destination that is within Cancun and Riviera Amaya – Cancun Airport Transportation can help you! (They also provide tour transports)
The Local Bus Line
The local bus line is conveniently available along Cancun Hotel Region. So if you are looking to visit the restaurants and city tourist hotspots that fall within that bus line zone, then you can conveniently get a ride around.
These buses are available day and night. And according to countless feedback (apart from our own), they are safe and hassle-free.
ADO Bus Station
The ADO Bus station is at the centre of the city (on Uxmal Avenue). If you are planning to explore destinations outside of Cancan such as Tulum, you can use this mode. Some of the top benefits that come with this option are:
- Great prices
- If you have bulky luggage – there is space for that
- Tickets can be purchased online
- And trips include insurance – so great!
But…you have to expect all the features of public transport, including multiple stops along the way. That being said, it’s still highly recommended. Learn more here.
If you are planning to head to Downtown Cancun to explore the region there – like the Malecon Tajamar, you can always ask your hotel to arrange a taxi. This is another option available, and it’s quite easy and safe, but a little costlier than taking an Uber (obviously).
Renting cars in Cancun is also well recommended – here’s why. Because you can travel at your own pace and not worry about travelling to a pre-determined location just to get to the transportation or having to stop in so many places during travel.
Take time because it’s your dime. A little more expensive, but it really helps create a better experience overall.
Yes, Taxi services are available. However, given that they operate with an aggressive front and have monopolized the taxi service platform in Cancun, they do play by their own rules.
There’s no real harm in using them, as you would be supporting the local economy, which is expected of a tourist, however, there have been many instances where taxi drivers have inflated prices based on a whim if they realize you are not a local.
Is Uber Available in other States of Mexico?
Uber is readily available in many places in Mexico – especially in tourist-friendly areas. And we are super happy about that. Some of these areas are:
- Puerto Vallarta
- Los Cabos
- La Paz
Frequently Asked Questions About Uber In Cancun
Was the Uber suspension lifted after 2017?
Following the federal rule that was passed along in 2019, Uber began its operations. However, Uber drivers are still facing much intimidation from local taxi service entities.
How much can a taxi roughly cost from the airport to the Cancun Hotel Zone?
A regular taxi may charge up to 50 USD while an Uber will cost less than 20 USD.