Following Uber’s high-profile launch in to the Puerto Rican market on Monday, the island’s tourism officials said the company was not approved to offer service.
“A regulation for the online transportation network industry has not been approved. Until a regulation is duly approved and a license is issued under such regulations, an online transportation network cannot offer service in the island,” Puerto Rico Tourism Company Executive Director Ingrid Rivera Rocafort said in a statement to Caribbean Journal. “As of today, the only transportation services with permits in the tourist zones are Tourist Taxis and endorsed tourist transportation.”
The statement came after Uber had reportedly signed up thousands of drivers in Puerto Rico, which is suffering from a crippling debt crisis.
Puerto Rico’s taxi service has long been criticized by tourists, both for high prices and difficulty in hailing taxis outside of taxi stations in areas like the airport and Old San Juan.
The situation is not new for Uber, which has often met opposition upon its entry in to many markets, largely from taxi sectors.
Uber currently operates in 482 cities around the world.