MEXICO CITY/SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Latin America’s coronavirus crisis is forcing Uber to adopt the taxi model it was meant to drive off the streets of cities from Santiago to Medellin.
FILE PHOTO: Uber’s logo is pictured at its office in Bogota, Colombia, December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez/File Photo
Uber’s U-turn has been prompted by a pandemic-linked regulatory clampdown in countries including Chile and Colombia, where the ride-hailing it has built its name on is unregulated.
The San Francisco start-up’s Chinese rival Didi, which has made big inroads in Latin America in recent years, has a head start in working with taxi drivers in the region. It has been implementing health measures like plastic barriers to keep passengers hailing its cabs.
Uber has responded by racing to join Latin America’s taxi ranks, announcing a service in Chile in June after lockdowns sidelined its ride-hailing drivers there, as well as plans to