Monopoly gone, airport taxis up their game

New competition at the Mérida, Yucatán airport has forced established drivers to up their game. Photo: Aeronotas

For years, one group of privileged drivers had a lock on the taxi trade at the airport. That changed in December when ADO was allowed to compete for fares at Mérida’s Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport.

Now, passengers arriving at the Mérida airport have been greeted with a gift of bottled water and an offer to carry their suitcases, reports Diario de Yucatán, asserting that competition has made taxi service there better.

“It is a drastic change for providers of ground transportation services for nearly 50 years who had complete control of passenger taxis at the airport of Merida,” reports Diario, in an English translation. Since January, competition from ADO forced modernization.

“Competition is healthy. It shows us our weaknesses and drives us to excel,” said Joel Manuel Aguilar Salazar, a dentist by training who has driven an airport cab for 22 years and is general secretary of FUTV, the consortium that used to have the taxi concession all to itself. FUTV had briefly picketed the airport in December when ADO was invited to bring competition at the Ground Transportation area.

Aguilar Salazar said FUTV is improving service, in terms of courtesy and equipment, with 10 new taxis with a new logo, and electronic invoices in the works. Drivers will be trained in English and some Italian.

ADO has a smaller fleet, and according to Diario, arriving passengers are showing a preference for the FUTV taxis even still.

Staff Writer

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