After more than 30 years, the Mexicoach shuttle bus to and from downtown Tijuana to San Ysidro is threatening to end service to the international border because Yellow Cab drivers in Tijuana are allegedly vandalizing their buses and harassing their passengers.
As tourism in Tijuana has dwindled to nearly nothing, competition for the few tourists who do make it to the city has grown intense. Taxi drivers are “encouraging terrorism because of envy,” two Mexicoach leaders, Juan Padilla and Fernando Amilpa, told the daily El Sol de Tijuana newspaper. Padilla and Amilpa said that the taxi drivers have destroyed Mexicoach buses and intimidated bus passengers. In one case, according to Mexicoach, a Korean executive was beaten up by Yellow Cab drivers during a dispute over whether to use Mexicoach or take a Yellow Cab.
“We view with sadness that the authorities do nothing because of political pressure regarding these people and, well, we see this as no benefit to the city,” Padilla told the newspaper. The labor union that represents Yellow Cab drivers is one of the most powerful in the city. According to Mexicoach, the cab drivers “terrorize” foreign visitors who refuse to board their taxis and opt instead for the shuttle-bus service. The taxi drivers, according to Mexicoach, harass people walking along Avenida Revolución as they pass by Mexicoach buses parked on the street ready to load passengers.
Padilla told El Sol the problem of damage to their buses and threats to their passengers has become so severe that Mexicoach is considering terminating its shuttle service “because of the fear represented by the Yellow Cab drivers.”
“Our companions are going to end up under-employed and these people are to blame because they have not received a tough hand [from authorities] and act with impunity,” Padilla told the newspaper. Padilla and Amilpa said the intimidation by the taxi drivers — in addition to vandalizing their buses — includes following the shuttles along their routes and “practically kidnapping” the buses, trying to block their passage along city streets.