FUTV’s taxi app grows, but still has limits

A game app parodies the FUTV-Uber conflict in Mérida. Photo: Google Play
A game app parodies the FUTV-Uber conflict in Mérida. Photo: Google Play

Mérida, Yucatán — So far, 600 taxi drivers have traded their taxi meters for a tablet running the Mi Taxi Yucatán app. The FUTV, which organizes these drivers, plans to keep arming more of them with the high-tech tool.

The app is meant to help the taxis compete with Uber and other ride-share services, which are summoned with an app.

But the app isn’t too user-friendly for foreign visitors. It is not available on iTunes or Google Play outside of Mexico; Uber, in contrast, is downloadable and workable anywhere they have drivers. There is also no English version of the app, unlike a similar one in Cancun.

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Searching on Google Play reveals a similarly-named game app that makes fun of the FUTV drivers. The game pits Uber cars and union taxis against each other.

A photo cutout of an irate taxi driver, sarcastically described as “kind, educated, muscular, handsome and sexy,” is part of the graphic display. That image appears taken from a violent 2016 standoff at the airport.

So far, 136 visitors have cheered on the app with a five-star rating.

The real Mi Taxi app lets passengers request a new-model taxi and agree on the fee and route ahead of time.

There is no fee to use FUTV’s Mi Taxi app, but customers on TripAdvisor say that flagging down an old-school metered cab is cheaper.

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