Uber the ride sharing service marked by some uncaring practices has arrived in Guatemala. The country of 3.1 million people anxiously await to see how the convenient car-hailing app will fit in a country use to public transportation defined by tuk-tuks (three-wheeled mini-cabs) and colorful ‘chicken buses’ (repurposed school buses). With only 69 cars per 1,000 people the company may be challenged to find enough drivers with cars.
Meanwhile potential drivers may be wondering if the low wage provider for subcontractor work will tank the national monthly minimum wage of $2,644.50 quetzale ($346) even further.
Uber investors, nonetheless, are confident that Latin America is the “Promised Land” especially since the Chinese want nothing to do with it. Currently the privately-held company, that earns billions but can’t seem to keep any of it, has a presence in 65 Latin American cities marked by Mexico City, Mexico and Sao Paulo, Brazil as its top two busiest markets in the world.
No word from corporate headquarters if the company plans on exporting some of its uncaring practices to Guatemala like: shoddy back ground checks, under insured rage-filled drivers, and occasional sexual assaults. We do hope Uber eliminates its notorious surge zone practice especially at night a time Trip Advisor recommends avoiding due to“livestock and unlit vehicles” and where many roads are still unpaved.
Uber should be on its best behavior since it has faced protests in most of the Latin American cities it has entered and currently is banned in Buenos Aires and the entire country of Costa Rica. Meanwhile, Guatemala’s 7,000 taxi drivers appear ready for the competition and are planning on launching the “Ciklo” app next month so the locals can request their services via mobile.
Let the competition begin!
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