A new fleet of taxis being rolled out by the Jalisco state government are being touted as more environmentally sound and cheaper to gas up than their predecessors.
However, some taxi drivers are complaining that the vehicles, while fuel efficient, come with too steep a price tag.
The cars, which are hybrid Priuses, will be leased to interested drivers (the first wave of which will be given priority due to a minimum of ten years seniority) at a cost of 13,000 pesos a month for 51 months, an amount which includes both life and car insurance. In addition, drivers who faithfully remit payment every month will have their last three payments covered by the government.
While the cars are undoubtably pricey, they consume 40 percent less gas than the older models, which Miguel Orlando Turriza Cuevas of the Secretariat of Planning, Administration and Finance claims will eventually make up for the difference in cost, saving taxi drivers “5,000 pesos in gas a month.”
Juan Huerta, adjunct secretary general of the Jalisco Federation of Workers, expressed skepticism towards the notion that drivers will be able to see past the massive price difference (a Prius taxi costs 400,000, compared to 180-220,000 for a regular model), saying that “the majority [of taxi drivers] won’t go for the hybrids.”