Tag Archives: Uber

Airbnb growing like SCOBY in Mexico City

Pásele marchanta
Pásele marchanta

Disclaimer: The topic of this post is the growth of Airbnb in Mexico City and its impact on the demographics of the city’s central zone. The conclusions presented here are drawn not from rigorous data analysis but rather from wild speculation based on our trips back and forth to the market and grocery store in the Colonia Roma neighborhood.

We have been dragging our ratty plastic market bag back and forth to Medellín market in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma for weekly food shopping since as far back as we can remember, which due to youthful excess only goes back to about the 1990s at this point. Outside of the recent boom in apartment building construction, the landscape didn’t change much over time, especially in the market: a demo heavily weighted toward middle aged neighborhood Janes kvetching about the skyrocketing price of chilacayote and what have you. But about three years or so ago, we began to notice an uptick in the number of young women of foreign appearance, many with yellow ponytails, along our customary route and in the market itself. The uptick has now turned into a veritable tsunami of foreign visitors in their early 20s, to the point where it seems unusual to hear Spanish spoken at the Sumesa grocery store on Av. Yucatán. What happened? Continue reading Airbnb growing like SCOBY in Mexico City

Mexico City launches regulations to allow Uber

Adios amigo
Adios amigo

Practically everywhere Uber has entered the market, the app-driven ride sharing service has been fiercely opposed by the local conventional taxi services. This is understandable, since any business would prefer less competition in their market, not more. In countries like Mexico and presumably others in Latin America, it is particularly common that service markets are controlled by dominant players, entrenched unions or industry organizations that effectively shut out competition through their deep political relationships. When Uber and its competitor Cabify arrived in Mexico City, organizations of taxi drivers responded as expected by calling upon the city government to block the new service from operating. As is the custom here, in some cases taxi drivers threatened and even attacked Uber drivers. Nonetheless, in a remarkable turn of events, the city government responded not by prohibiting Uber but by devising regulations to permit Uber and Cabify to operate by complying with a framework of requirements. According to media reports, this is the first case of so-called “Uber” regulation in Latin America. Continue reading Mexico City launches regulations to allow Uber