UBER’S move to allow Panama passengers to pay cash has aroused a fresh storm of controversy including drivers of the yellow hornets, sometimes referred to as taxis, and current Uber users.
The predictable outcry from the taxi owners is because they see the cash option as another major incursion into their fare base, which consists largely of lower income groups, now targeted by Uber because many of them do not possess debit or credit cards, but do possess a cell phone.
The outcry on social media and via call-in programs on radio and TV, is from current users of the service who complain that allowing Uber drivers to accept cash converts them to the level of pirate taxis, making them and passengers vulnerable to assault and robbery.
Meanwhile the Transit Authority (ATTT) announced an investigation into the legality of Uber drivers ccepting cash
Protesting taxi drivers blocked roads in several locations on Friday, August 5.
The carrier leader Rafael Reyes said that that President Juan Carlos Varela said that Uber would not affect the selective transport of the country, but is doing so more now with the cash payment option.
"We reject this illegal platform," said Reyes, who requested a formal statement by the Transit Authority and Land Transportation (ATTT) on the new form of payment,
Ulysses Calvo, legal director of the ATTT, explained that theUber business decision to accept cash Uber will be incorporated as another factor in the file that it keeps open..
This update to the system is done because "many users do not have access to a credit card or debit card and, , wish to have other payment options," said an Uber statement.