U.S. Markets close in 3 hrs 55 mins

Mexico City Says Ride-Hailing Trust to Become Public in 2020

Nacha Cattan

(Bloomberg) -- Funds held in a trust from ride hailing platforms like Uber Technologies Inc. will be transferred to Mexico City’s public coffers at the start of the new year thanks to changes in the fiscal code, the local government said.

The shift will allow the city to disclose how the money is being spent, it said. The government detailed the change in a statement this week, after a Bloomberg News story about how nearly $24 million had been deposited by Uber into the trust. For that article, the city’s Ministry of Mobility, or Semovi, declined to provide a detailed accounting of the money.

The trust dates to September 2016, when Uber agreed to deposit 1.5% of each trip started in Mexico City into the trust to serve as a source of revenue to do things like upgrade public transportation infrastructure. The accord meant additional revenue for municipal transport while also helping to mollify local taxi owners concerned about lost business.

The Strange Case of Mexico City’s $24 Million Uber Trust

“Semovi’s administration recognizes that the nature of the trust doesn’t allow elements of transparency or certainty,” the city government said in the statement. The changes were made and approved by the city’s legislative body earlier this month, it said, but the new fiscal code hadn’t entered into law when the Bloomberg article was published.

The city declined to provide details in earlier interviews about the trust. According to this week’s statement, 110 million pesos ($5.8 million) were withdrawn from the fund for a program to replace old taxis that will result in 650 newer, cleaner vehicles, including hybrid or electric models.

The replacement program is available to anyone who’s interested, without the need for intermediaries, the city stated, in response to the Movimiento Nacional Taxista union saying it hasn’t seen a cent from the Uber trust.

(Updates with timing details in fourth paragraph)

To contact the reporter on this story: Nacha Cattan in Mexico City at ncattan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Cancel at dcancel@bloomberg.net, ;Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Robert Jameson, Brendan Case

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.