Over the 5 years I've been in Mexico (most of it in Mexico City), I have came across something new that I haven't experienced before.
Now, to be fair, I have rarely "simpler" versions of a mototaxi in other Latin American countries where it's just a motorcycle that you get on to be driven around.
However, here in Mexico City, it's slightly more comfortable than that in specific sections of the city.
Specifically in Tlahuac and Iztapalapa of Mexico City.
Given I have never stepped foot in these two areas of Mexico City until having just moved here a few weeks ago, I haven't seen mototaxis ever in the city.
Didn't even know they were a thing here.
Definitely haven't seen them anywhere else so far (be it areas in the north, center and southwest).
Perhaps I'll find them in other specific sections of the city?
Soon, I'll be in Milpa Alta so we'll see if they are there also.
Either way, these are what I am talking about specifically.
At any rate, what is to say about this form of transportation?
General Thoughts on MotoTaxis of Mexico City
Since I moved here a few weeks ago, I've probably taken a dozen rides on these things.
Had to get over to Walmart at around 9 AM so that I can find an ATM machine to withdraw some money and also buy some Parmesan cheese for the pasta I've been cooking a lot lately (there isn't much street food near me so I've had to get back to cooking).
Anyway, there's a few things about these rides.
For one, they are cheap as fuck.
They aren't necessarily THAT much cheaper though than just using a regular taxi in my experience when all things are considered.
For example, for my ride to Walmart today, they quoted me 20 pesos for the ride.
Which, according to Google Maps, is a 25 minute walk or a 7 minute ride.
If I was to take a regular taxi, it'd probably have costed me roughly 20 pesos also more or less.
Though, to be fair, who knows if I am somehow getting that dreaded "gringo price."
Given I have never used these before, I have no idea if 20 pesos for a 7 to 10 minute ride is a normal price the locals pay.
But, at the same time, I don't really give too many fucks about that.
If the price was somehow normally lower, then what would I be saving?
Five pesos or 25 cents?
Either way, when it comes to pricing, I have noticed a lot of them tend to charge me 20 pesos.
Whenever asking a mototaxi to take me somewhere for a ride that could be 7 minutes, 10 minutes or whatever, almost every single one has charged me 20 pesos.
Seems to be a standard price they all love.
The only one who charged me more was the very first Mototaxi guy I used who charged me 100 pesos (5 bucks) to drive me around for literally an hour and a half.
I just wanted the dude to show me around the neighborhood and go basic "urban sightseeing."
What do all the streets look like around these parts?
So, in short, these mototaxis are pretty cheap overall.
Regardless of whatever the normal rates are the locals, it's so cheap you'd be blowing smoke up your ass if you somehow found something to be annoyed about regarding the price.
For 5 bucks in exchange for this dude's labor, money to give to his company or whoever owns the mototaxi, the gas and his time, it almost feels like you are stealing from the motherfucker.
You do genuinely wonder how they make a profit on this?
Which, on that note, I have wondered if these mototaxi dudes are working in the pubic sector hired by the local government or if they work for a for-profit company given they are fairly cheap.
I have no idea.
Next, these mototaxi guys seem to have a limit on how far they will take you anywhere.
Given how cheap they are, I was contemplating having one of them just ride me around literally all over Tlahuac from where I live to an area called Mixquic.
Just be my personal driver for the day.
If his going rate is 5 bucks an hour, then I'd be more than willing to pay the motherfucker 40 bucks for 8 hours of his day.
Seriously -- 40 bucks for 8 hours of his time?
With the dude who drove me around for an hour and a half, he said he would do it for 800 pesos (40 bucks) but his boss won't let him drive me as far away as I was asking.
He'd have to "get permission."
With his number written down after he gave it to me, we might work something out.
Left to be seen.
Furthermore, you should know that the rides are not the most comfortable you could hope for.
In regular taxis, you don't notice it but you do feel the bumps on the road a lot easier on these mototaxi vehicles.
Just letting you know it'll be a bumpy ride most likely.
Also, the mototaxi guys -- so far in my experience -- do nothing to fuck you over so far.
At least in my experience.
I'm sure a few of them have some weird scam up their sleeve but -- at least compared to regular taxis -- there does seem to so far be less bullshit with them.
Finally, one thing you should know is that they are not very friendly to tall people.
As I wrote here, Mexico in general is not the friendliest country to anyone over 5'9.
While plenty of Mexicans are normal height or even taller than plenty of Americans, the average Mexican is shorter than the average American and it shows in the infrastructure at times like I wrote in that article cited.
With the mototaxis, you see that again.
During my ride over to Walmart today as you can see here, I was in a mototaxi where my head literally was touching the top end of the mototaxi shielding me from any rain.
While the surface was soft and didn't hurt at all whenever we hit a bump (quite often!), I could see this form of transportation being annoying for anyone taller than me.
I am literally 5'9 so I am not a giant and, as I said, there was literally no more room above me.
If I was any taller by even a TINY bit, I'd have to lower my head, lean back in the seat, etc.
Above all though, they do make for a decent form of transportation to have hanging around.
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Thanks for reading.