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Journal Blasts Run-down VW Taxis in Town

By: Staff | Real Acapulco News - 12 May, 2011

(Acapulco, NA 11 May) The local paper Novedades de Acapulco today warns that Acapulco is “being invaded by deteriorated VW Taxis.” As “Mexico’s window to the world,” Acapulco puts up with notorious deficiencies in light public transport, especially the dozens of VW beetles that really should be removed from service. The newspaper says that these jalopies not only give the City a black eye, but the fact that the authorities tolerate them shows an incompetent or indifferent municipal government.

The last VW beetle ever made came off the assembly line in Puebla on July 30, 2003. Most cities moved to four-door taxis at that time, but Acapulco has made no changes. As a result, all the broken-down beetles in the country are gradually migrating to Acapulco, where they are still permitted to circulate.

The recently named director of urban transport, Jorge Pineda Ventura, warns that he will soon implement a regulation to prevent VW beetles from being used as taxis if they do not measure up to some minimum standard of maintenance and appearance. Transit police are being instructed to arrest undocumented drivers. A representative of the local Chamber of Commerce, First VP Juan Manuel Estrada Castell, agreed, saying that if Acapulco seeks to reposition itself as the main vacation spot in Mexico, it will have to do something about the taxis.

A local resident told the paper, “some taxis are frightening, not only for the poor condition of their chassis and interior, but also because they use license plates from other states, which causes doubt about their security and safety.” Pollution from the many smoking engines was also cited as another hazard. Many – possibly more than 50% – of the VW taxi fleet in Acapulco are operated by “pirates,” who have neither permits nor plates. Others serve mainly as lookouts and reconnaissance for organized criminal gangs. According to one resident quoted by the paper, “No one ever complains about these drivers, who are sometimes violent, for fear of reprisals.

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