State regulators take note of teens’ Chuber app

Fledgling business swept up in efforts to reform transportation

A road in Kanasin is clogged with mototaxis, some of which are unregulated and unlicensed. Photo: Sipse
A road in Kanasin is clogged with mototaxis, some of which are unregulated and unlicensed. Photo: Sipse

Merida, Yucatan — After a pair of teenagers developed an app for passengers to hail a mototaxi, the state has stepped in to regulate it.

The state’s legal department has left open the possibility of integrating a bill to regulate Chuber, a smartphone app like Uber, only for those covered motorcycle-cart vehicles rather than sedans.

Chuber has already recruited mototaxi drivers in Kanasín, Samahil, Celestún, Kinchil, Tetiz and Hunucmá. Its 18-year-old developers, Víctor José Cetz Cauich and Israel Aké Mena, reported that they already have more than 500 drivers and 2,800 passengers.

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The head of the state regulatory agency, Mauricio Tappan Silveira, said that Chuber is part of an initiative to reform the State Transportation Law.

The state government is reorganizing to address transportation issues. The Yucatan Transportation Directorate is no longer under the General Secretariat. It is now part of the Territorial Urban Development and Mobility Institute, which replaces the Metropolitan Coordination of Yucatan (Comey).

State officials want to make sure that drivers are registered, have current license plates and licenses, and follow safety rules.

Sipse’s Novedades Yucatan previously reported that a significant number of under-the-table mototaxis compete with regulated, insured and licensed drivers. Some illegal drivers operate under a syndicate that they pay 300 pesos a day.

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