continued "Part of the master plan," Garcia responds, "would be to convert a lot of the route taxis into free taxis that can operate anywhere in the city."
Mora and his alliance also see the city's move into mass transit as a power grab. "Transportation used to be a state-administered service," Mora explains. "The state would give you the permits and all that. Since the state government couldn't directly provide the service, they leased it, or franchised it to private organizations. Now, the municipal government's plan establishes the basis to monopolize and absorb all the different companies that are established; they want to be the only administrator of all transportation. The ruta troncal is a guise for the municipal government taking over the transportation system."
"The state government," Garcia responds, "did have control over transportation. But changes to the law were made in 2000 that give the city more regulatory power over local things such as transportation, permits to sell alcohol, and others."
Mora also accuses the city of getting into transportation to generate revenue for city coffers. "There's a million dollars a day generated in transportation," Mora continues. "A million users spending about a dollar every day is a million dollars gross. That's another reason the municipal government is so interested."
Garcia counters that the taxi union leaders are trying to preserve the flawed system to keep a good monetary thing going for themselves. "They can make, with the current system, much more money than with the system we are proposing. They don't want free taxis because it would eliminate the sitios, the places where the route taxis park and pick up fares. And that represents $500 per taxi to them, because each taxi pays $500 a year to be able to park there. With 6000 taxis in the city, that's $3 million a year."
Though he acknowledges the current transportation system in Tijuana isn't perfect, Mora says that polls show 70 percent of commuters are satisfied with it. "They don't know any other way," Garcia responds. "There hasn't been any other system, only the inefficient, disorganized, and expensive one we have. It would be worthwhile to see where they did that survey, if they could validate those figures. Because if you talked to passengers at any taxi station, you would see how dissatisfied they really are, especially when they have to ride in the back part of these station wagons that were designed to carry your groceries, not to carry people."