Who would have thunk? A female run taxi service in Playa del Carmen taking on the transportation disrupter Uber. This may be a game changer in so many ways, and just might be the ticket the local service and visitors are looking for.
Mexico is thought to be a machismo culture. But if you understand the deep roots of this culture you will see that is pro-female in so many ways. The creation of the Pink Taxi Service is just one more innovation that could rock the transportation world on the coast, and it is female centric, female driven, and rosy in so many ways.
I remember the first time I had a female taxi driver. It was a few years ago but did take me by surprise, albeit a pleasant surprise. I hopped into the taxi on 30th street, and without paying much attention, I stated where I was headed. The voice that responded had me stop and take another look. There, in the front of the taxi, was a female taxi driver. We chatted about her new job and how females have decided to make this a professional. If you think about it, anywhere in the world, there are few, if any female taxi drivers. This is not just a Mexico phenomenon.
I don’t have the actual stats but over the years I would say for every 50 taxis I took, I would get a female driver. That is a pretty low ratio, 50 to 1, but I loved that I support a working mom, or a woman who was working so she could pay for her university education.
This trend is not isolated to just Playa. In London England there is an all female taxi service called Lady London Chauffeurs. In Boston the all female taxi service is Chariot of Women. In April 2016 14% of Uber drivers in the US were female, and in February 2017 19% of Uber drivers in the US were female.
Fast track to January 2017 in the Riviera Maya to the announcement that Uber was operating in Cancun. The taxi drivers were nervous, as any taxi driver would be when a lower cost, easy to book transportation option comes along. Taxi unions tried to implement apps that mimicked Ubers service, they protested, they complained. Uber was not going away and people used the service. It seemed the local taxi unions were powerless against this global transportation giant. They would be losing not only business but drivers as well. Rumors stated that an Uber driver was making more money than a local taxi driver.
This month Playa del Carmen announced their new taxi service, Pink Taxis. The name gave me visions of pink taxis driving around (similar to the Mary Kay pink Cadillacs) in Playa. That vision is a bit farfetched but each driver does wear a white shirt with a pink scarf.
The service is built for female drivers and for female passengers. If female visitors in anyway felt uncomfortable with a local taxi driver, this female service is perfect! I have never felt unsafe with a local taxi driver, frustrated yes, unsafe, no. But I do like this option of supporting female drivers.
Currently there are 27 Pink Taxis in Playa del Carmen only. The goal is to increase this number to 50 by the end of the year. If we all create a demand for Pink Taxi’s that number could increase rapidly.
You can download the app, Taxi Amigo PDC and order a pink taxi, or you can contact Taxi Amigos on Whats App using the number 984 138 1075. Request a pink taxi and let them know where you want to be picked up.
The service uses current taxi union rates, so it is not a price disrupter. But it is an image disrupter in so many ways. And a service disrupter. I have never met a female taxi driver I did not like in Playa del Carmen. One female driver who picked me up during the pouring rain at the hair dressers went the extra mile to walk me to my front door to preserve my new do! She totally understood the time and cost involved with getting your hair cut, and blow dried and did not want me to have it all destroyed by the rain. Now that kind of understanding and service rocks!