by Michael J. Shapiro | July 17, 2018
Mexico's second-largest city is the latest destination to become engulfed in a battle between authorities and ride-hailing platforms. The state of Jalisco's Secretaría de Movilidad (or SEMOV, the state's Department of Transportation) launched a crackdown this week in Guadalajara on what it says are improperly registered vehicles used for public transportation. The operation is targeting drivers for Uber, Easy Taxi and Cabify, as well as drivers of some traditional taxis.
Uber drivers, which represent the largest number of operators in the local sharing economy, have been targeted the most, according to preliminary reports. SEMOV is not only fining drivers but also impounding some cars on the spot.
 
Uber drivers responded yesterday with a traffic-snarling protest at the Minerva, a major traffic roundabout and Guadalajara landmark. According to Uber, some of the measures taken by SEMOV are not in accordance with current law -- for instance, drivers are being required to reveal personal information, such as earnings, without justification; they are also being told they need to have items like a printed map booklet and a car seat for babies in their vehicles at all times.
 
The legal director of SEMOV, José Luis Quiroz, has responded that the agency's actions were legal and were being executed to improve security and service for the customers of the ride-sharing platforms, according to the Informador newspaper.
 
Of the 26,000 vehicles in the state that are used for platforms such as Uber, Cabify and Easy Taxi, only 6 percent are registered with SEMOV, according to Quiroz. 
 
However, a number of Uber drivers interviewed in Informador claimed Uber had assured them that the company would be handling the appropriate permits and registration.
 

A judge's decision last month cleared the way for Uber to continue operating legally in the state of Jalisco. While that decision has been honored in Guadalajara, SEMOV officials have insisted in recent days that Uber's operations in some other jurisdictions are illegal -- notably, in the coastal resort city of Puerto Vallarta. Nevertheless, Uber drivers continue to operate there.

In a message to riders, Uber apologized for the inconveniences and insisted the entire team was dedicated to resolving the situation. Riders should expect possible delays when requesting service and be aware of potential hiccups en route to their destinations.