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VOSD Podcast: Inside Tijuana's Taxi Showdown

On this week’s podcast, Andrew Keatts and Kinsee Morlan sit down with Derrik Chinn and Alejandro Torres from the tour company Turista Libre to discuss the Tijuana taxi cab turf war.

Yellow cab drivers in Tijuana have historically been among the first to greet people right as they walk cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

For decades, yellow taxis had first dibs on tourists, and they had little in the way of competition. But the rise of ride-sharing companies like Uber has disrupted the taxi industry there, and the yellow cabs aren’t happy about it.

On this week’s podcast, Andrew Keatts and Kinsee Morlan sit down with Derrik Chinn and Alejandro Torres from the tour company Turista Libre to discuss the Tijuana taxi cab turf war and how it connects to Tijuana politics.

Early this month, a video surfaced that showed a flock of cab drivers harassing and possibly physically assaulting a man for opting to take an Uber instead of a taxi.

This kind of harassment has been happening for months, say Chinn and Torres, but the yellow cab company’s political power stopped city officials from doing anything about it.

City leaders did finally step in when the video started getting lots of views and publicity and removed the cabs from their spot at the border, but the situation is still far from settled.

Torres said when tourists have more options, they often get to see a better side of Tijuana, a city that’s long struggled with a reputation for being dirty and dangerous.

“For the longest time, the cab drivers in Tijuana were the original and first wave tour guides, and I think in a lot of ways that has led to this misunderstanding of what tourism in Tijuana is really about,” Torres said. “They’re taking you to mediocre places … so of course Tijuana has this image problem because look who’s promoting it.”

Also on the podcast, Keatts talks with Montgomery Monica, a candidate for the San Diego City Council’s District 4. They discuss her background as a criminal justice advocate and what she hopes to accomplish if she gets the job.

Hero of the Week

This week’s hero goes to San Diego County Board of Supervisors who decided to invest more than $1.1 million for body cameras for San Diego County Sheriff’s officers.

Goat of the Week

Interim District Attorney Summer Stephan gets the goat this week. Recently, Stephan has tried to distance herself from the role she played as a prosecutor in the gruesome murder case of 12-year-old Stephanie Crowe. Our very own Ashly McGlone spoke with key players in the case and found Stephan was no bystander.

Subscribe to the VOSD Podcast on iTunes or get the RSS feed hereStream or download it here.

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