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Ever since the introduction of the taxi libre cabs (a system that allows for cabs driven by independent operators), they have frequently been operated by unregistered drivers who have become a growing concern among consumers.

Lately, the ubiquitous white-and-orange taxis emblazoned with the word "libre" on the sides appear to be running afoul of the agency that governs transportation and roads. In a poll of taxi users, La Segunda found that there were plenty of complaints, particularly about the unregistered drivers who use their "clonado" cabs in order to engage in criminal activity.

When first introduced a few years back, the taxi libre was designed as an economical alternative to more entrenched public transportation interests. For example, a traditional “yellow” cab ride to the border from downtown (a distance of about two miles) would cost a flat five-dollar fee; a taxi libre ride would meter out at about two dollars.

Riders now complain that the meters are being altered and/or disconnected, resulting in higher costs to the passenger. Clonados have been used as escape vehicles by robbers and as mobile distribution centers for counterfeit money (U.S. and Mexican currency); drivers have been accused of sexual molestation and assaults on customers.

Part of the problem seems to be the lack of credentialed drivers, who, in some cases, have been fired from other taxi companies for engaging in criminal activities. All taxi drivers are supposed to be licensed by the city and are required to post their photo ID in their cabs.

Eduardo Enrique Parra Romero, registrar of taxis in TJ, emphasized that compliance with registration rules will do much to repair the breakdown-in-confidence issues.

Source: La Segunda

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Comments

David Dodd July 5, 2011 @ 2:32 a.m.

All public transportation in Tijuana, including all forms of taxis, are controlled by the State of Baja California. Cab drivers are licensed by the State, not the City.

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