These signs tell you whether or not a Cancun cab is on or off duty
The "Andres Quintana Roo" union regulations establish four ways in which cab drivers must make it clear to users that they are not providing service. This is how you will know if a Cancun cab is working.
Few things are more frustrating than a Cancun cab that leaves you with your hand raised because it is not on duty. Incredible as it may seem, there are four ways you can avoid being left "on sight" by a cab driver... although not all drivers apply them. Cancun cab drivers do not comply with the official measures established by the union, making it difficult for users to know whether or not a unit is out of service.
Drivers do not usually use all the official signs to indicate that they are not providing service, most frequently ignoring when the passenger raises his or her hand. According to the "Andres Quintana Roo" union's quality of service measures, drivers may use any of the following signs to indicate that they are not available:
Use a sign on the interior side of the windshield with the legend "Out of Service";
A sign on the roof of the units to indicate that they are in service;
Place a red flannel on the hood or on the passenger's side door;
At night, the hood should be turned off.
However, in addition to not employing these measures, for most of the users, it is also a practically unknown subject. The only thing they see is that the cab goes without a passenger. These measures are known by cab drivers, but not all of them apply them, and not all users are familiar with them.
The main complication in taking a cab is the difficulty in distinguishing whether a unit is available or off duty. Sometimes it takes up to 10 attempts to find an available cab, and it can take up to 30 minutes. Cabs are generally easy to find around supermarkets, plazas, or parks. According to data from the union, there are around 8,600 cabs circulating in the city, and of these, approximately 2,500 circulate in the hotel zone.