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Taxi park-in jams Mexico City’s Zocalo to protest ride apps

June 3, 2019
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Taxis, supported by public transport bus drivers, fill the Zocalo in front of the National Palace, right, during a protest against ride-sharing apps in a bid to demand the city shut them down, in Mexico City, Monday, June 3, 2019. Some drivers say the ride-sharing apps have reduced their income by about 40%, while a backlash on social media put the blame on taxi drivers for not offering better service. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Taxi drivers snarled traffic in downtown Mexico City on Monday in their latest protest against Uber and other ride-hailing apps.

The demonstrators drove hundreds of pink-and-white-liveried cabs along central boulevards and then parked them on the capital’s sprawling main square, known as the Zocalo, and the six-lane street that circles it.

The protesters want the apps banned, arguing that the apps are unfair competition because those drivers are more loosely regulated and don’t have to pay licensing fees. Several cabbies said the ride-hailing apps have cost them 40% of their earnings.

But many Mexico City residents say the apps provide a service superior to that of most taxis, in terms of safety, reliability and comfort, and are competitive on price.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said that her government maintains an “open dialogue” with the transportation sector and that she considers some of the demands legitimate and others not, the newspaper El Universal reported.

Dozens of bus drivers joined the park-in on the plaza out of solidarity.

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