Supreme Court sides with state lawmakers regulating Uber

Since announcing their arrival in Mérida last March, Uber has been a divisive topic. Photo: Sipse
Since announcing their arrival in Mérida last March, Uber has been a divisive topic. Photo: File

Mexico City — ​Uber was handed a setback in the country’s highest court on Monday.

Eight members of Mexico’s Supreme Court sided with the Yucatán Congress, which has imposed regulations on the ride-sharing platform.

One justice, Alberto Pérez Dayán, had asked his colleagues to invalidate amendments to Yucatán’s transportation law aimed at Uber. He said it was unfair to single out Uber drivers, who should be treated the same as taxistas.

Yucatán’s new law, for example, requires that Uber drivers own their cars, which is not a requirement for taxi drivers. The new law also requires that a ride-sharing car must be worth at least 200,000 pesos and be under seven years old, while taxi vehicles are not required to meet any such bars.

But the High Court voted 8-3 to allow special regulations on the grounds that Uber is a means of transportation, no matter the technology that powers it.

The state Congress passed the regulations 11 months ago, which critics said protects a monopoly established by taxi drivers.

In August the Supreme Court accepted to analyze the constitutionality of the Uber service, admitting to proceed an action promoted by deputies of Yucatán against a state law that regulates this service.

The approved initiative establishes, among other things, that owners of cars with a price greater than 200 thousand pesos may grant the transportation service through the contracting of technology platforms; Also that only the owners of these vehicles can grant the service.

Uber has rattled the taxi industry since coming to Mexico in 2013 and expanding to Mérida last year. 

Uber already has operations in Mexico City, Puebla, Queretaro, Tijuana, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Leon and Toluca.

Uber is an app-based system that connects to riders and receives payments via smartphone.

 

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