If you follow the news in Mérida, Mexico, you may have seen an article about Uber drivers at the airport. So yes, there is Uber in Mérida but there’s more you need to know about this subject.
Yes, there is Uber in Mérida BUT . . .
there’s one small catch: Uber may NOT be your best option when it comes to ride platforms in Mérida.
This article was updated in March of 2023.
Any time I request a ride platform from my house, they never get the address correct. So, I have to look up the street for the car.
Notably, Uber is probably the number one choice for most travelers. It is known world-wide. It is easy, understandable, and familiar. Something we all need when traveling in a foreign country. More than likely, you already have the app ready to go.
BUT, after using other ride platforms, I have found that Uber is not my first (or even my second) choice.
Problems with Uber Drivers in Mérida
Unfortunately, Uber drivers in Mérida are known to cancel their rides frequently. This happens at the most inconvenient times. Going to meet a friend for a dinner reservation? Uber cancels. Need a ride to the airport to catch a flight? Uber cancels. Waiting 20 minutes for your driver to show up? Uber cancels.
Most drivers here use multiple platforms. They accept a ride and appear to be on their way. However, somewhere en route, they may get a request from another platform that is more agreeable for them. Possibly, a higher fare or on their way home or a rider that is paying in cash vs. a credit card. Therefore, they cancel the fare they don’t like and pick up the fare they do like.
Additionally, Uber pays the least commissions to their drivers. It is becoming increasingly more difficult on drivers to work for Uber.
If you’re traveling from Centro to the North, you’ll definitely need to call Uber, Didi, or InDriver.
Reasons to use Uber in Mérida
So, I get it. You’ve got the Uber app set up and ready to go. Let’s talk about the reasons to use Uber in Mérida:
- Uber has a flat rate from origination to destination.
- Fares are non-negotiable.
- You’ll have surge pricing during peak times which is understandable.
- Trips can be set up in advance. For example, if you need a ride to the airport at 4:00 am. You can schedule the night before.
- Trip history is saved so you can track for business or personal use.
- Customer service is pretty good.
Is Uber available at the Mérida airport?
NO! Uber is not available at the airport and PLEASE, PLEASE do not take advice from Facebook groups that recommend walking a few feet down the drive of the airport so an Uber can pick you up. Not surprisingly, this is very bad advice.
Any AND all ride platforms are prohibited from competing with taxis
available for incoming flights and passengers at the airport.
I do NOT recommend doing this for two reasons:
1) Safety reasons, especially after dark.
2) Both YOU AND THE DRIVER can be subjected to a massive fine.
Please, do not put yourself or anyone else in this position. Keep in mind, you are a visitor here and it’s important to respect the rules.
How do taxis work at the Mérida airport?
When you get ready to leave the airport, there are a series of stalls on the left hand side. You’ll see a stall for Flex Shuttle. Go to the counter, give the attendant your address, pay the fee, take the ticket outside and someone will direct you to the right spot to get your taxi. Most of the time, credit cards are accepted. However, I always have pesos in case the credit card machine isn’t working. Don’t have pesos? There are a couple of ATMs inside the airport next to the elevators (right by the stairs and escalator).
When staying in an Airbnb in Centro, your amount will most likely be between $180 – $200 pesos. Further North runs about $220 – $240’ish. If you have luggage or need help carrying your items up stairs, please also consider a tip of 10% – 20%. I have more on tipping in Mérida in this article.
Other ride platforms in Mérida
For visitors to Mérida, you have several ride platform options. Note these additional options to taxis and Uber in Mérida:
- Didi is most similar to Uber. Set up a profile and use a credit card to pay. Additionally, you can share trip details with others. It is very reliable. Personally, I like DiDi alot and have not had many issues at all.
- DiDi offers a rescue button to help users who are in dangerous situations such as risk to personal safety, theft or other crimes.
- They also have a food delivery option as well.
Users of this platform choose the price of the trip and negotiate with drivers for the best fare. I will look on DiDi to see what a reasonable fare is and then offer it on the InDriver platform. I’ve found InDriver to be the fastest AND the most reliable.
However, here are a few tips:
- This is a cash only app.
- You need to have exact change.
- If you don’t have exact change, some drivers won’t have change.
- You’ll enter a fare of $80 pesos and a driver will counter offer at $82 pesos. In my experience, the driver won’t have change if you give him $85, $90, or $100. Just something to be aware of.
Of course, hail a regular taxi when in a busy area. Be sure to negotiate the fee up front. Metered rides do not exist with taxis here. Pay in pesos and exact change is preferred. I’ve yet to find a regular taxi driver that speaks English. Use your Google translate or Duo Lingo app if you need help with Spanish.
Taxi drivers also drive for other ride platforms such as Uber, DiDi, and InDriver.
Safety tips for ride platforms in Mérida
Importantly once your ride arrives, follow these easy, step by step safety tips:
- Verify license plate and type of car
- Ensure the name of the driver matches the app. Allow the driver to verify your name before getting in the car. If NEITHER of these matches, don’t get in the car.
- NEVER sit in the front seat – only sit in the back.
- Once you are in the car, the driver will usually verify the destination address. You can also ask them to verify the destination if they don’t do it.
- When requesting your ride, swipe up to share your ride with up to 5 people.
- You can also do this within Whatsapp by hitting the paperclip icon, tapping the location and then tapping “share live location”. There is an option to share for 15 min or 1 hour or 24 hours, etc.
- You can send a link to a friend so that they can track your route via the ride platform app. You can also share your driver’s information, car, and eta.
- The driver is made aware you’ve shared the trip info and knows someone is waiting for you. They aren’t any wiser if you just text yourself which I do if it is late at night or early in the morning.
Ride platform precautions
There are times when we may not feel as safe as we can. This is normal when traveling or living in a foreign country. At times, our “gut instinct” warns us about potential situations that may not be in our best interest.
These top safety precautions may help you feel better, especially when traveling solo:
- Remember, you have the option to terminate your ride at any time.
- If the driver is acting inappropriately or asking too many personal questions, don’t feel like you have to respond. Sometimes, I “talk” on the phone so I’m not interrupted by a chatty driver.
- Before entering the vehicle, check the door to see if the child-lock has been enabled. This is a small lever on the inside panel of the car door that is visible when the door is open.
- More than likely, when your driver arrives, the back door will be locked. Wait for the driver to unlock the door and always, always sit in the back. If nothing else, this gives you separation from the driver.
As soon as I get in the car, I always check to ensure that the windows are not locked as well.
Final Thoughts on Uber in Mérida
I hope this article provided you with more knowledge and confidence to understand your transportation options. It is always important to feel comfortable when in a foreign country. Choose the best ride platform for you.
REMEMBER . . .
If, at any time, you feel unsafe – tell them the following, “Disculpe, por favor ……terminado” and get out of the car.
I have only had one bad experience where the very young driver was texting during the ride and acting slightly erratic. I was very close to my house so I stayed in the car.
Once I arrived, I immediately reported him to Uber (you have to use the app). A representative called within an hour to get the issue resolved and refunded my money for that ride.
Come on over and see what other expats are doing: Life in Merida: Visitor & Resident Resources