Mexico City became the first Latin American city to regulate the ride-sharing app Uber when it unveiled new laws on the service Wednesday, joining a growing number of cities and nations across the world.
The city government announced a bevy of rules that included a 1.5 percent charge on all rides, a yearly permit fee for all vehicles, and a stipulation that vehicles used by Uber and other ride-sharing services must cost a minimum of 200,000 pesos ($12,674).
Uber commended the regulations, saying that the minimum value was "a high bar" but "doable," Reuters reported.
"Mexico's capital - one of the most complex cities in the world - now has modern, forward-looking regulations echoing the principles of Uber's business model: the logic of supply and demand alongside a citizen's ability to choose how they move around their city," the company said in a statement.
Uber spokeswoman Ana Paula Blanco reportedly said that most vehicles driving for the service were worth over 200,000 pesos. She added that the company was relieved that a previous plan to enforce a minimum car age of five years was scrapped.
Uber's Public Policy Director Corey Owens reportedly said last week that the ride levy was at the "high end" of what it pays in other cities. A government spokesman reportedly said that the cost could not be passed on to consumers and must be borne by the company itself.
Taxi drivers in Mexico, who had previously held massive protests that caused citywide traffic snarls in May, criticized the regulations, saying that they were not tough enough and maintained Uber's unfair competitive advantage over them.
"We didn't expect the city's government to react so violently towards us," local union leader Ruben Alcantara said, according to Reuters.
Before the regulations were unveiled, California-based Uber won the backing of several major government organizations including the Federal Economic Competition Commission and Mexico City's Human Rights Commission.
Uber's meteoric rise and expansion around the world has met with significant controversy, with cab drivers in many cities staging protests against the service's pricing and hiring practices. Most recently, a California ruling in June said that its drivers must be treated like employees and not contractors, and a Paris protest turned into a violent riot that led French authorities to promise a crackdown on the service.