Mexico’s love affair with the VW Beetle started in the 1950’s and began to flourish in 1962, when Volkswagen opened a manufacturing plant in the town of Pueblo. In 1971, the Beetle was made the official taxi cab of Mexico City, and some 50,000 units were put into service. The Beetle was eventually phased out in 2012 in favor of four-door cabs, but this didn’t stop Beetles from being used as cabs in one of Mexico City’s most dangerous districts.

Cuautepec, is an area of Mexico City that’s so dangerous, government registered cabbies won’t risk taking a fare there. Because of this there is a serious lack of transportation. The area is well known for it’s high crime and murder rate, but also for the crazy number of VW Beetle cabs that work the streets. Some 2,500 illegal cab drivers have put themselves to work in Cuautepec, and the Government doesn’t seem to mind. Their chariot of choice is the Beetle and the average fair is only about 1 U.S. dollar. There are so many Beetles that the town’s nickname translates to, “Beetleland.”  Because these Beetles only have two doors, most cabs remove the front passenger seat for easy access to the rear.  People apparently don’t mind because a ride is so damn cheap.

Check out the video posted by Jalapnik, but this may not be a good time to play punch bug with anyone.

Related: Here’s everything you need to know about the People’s Car: The Volkswagen Beetle

This area of Mexico City is known for crime and nicknamed Beelteland Jalopnik/YouTube
Alex Palmeri About the author:
Alex Palmeri graduated with an Associates in Automotive Technology and started his career with Mercedes-Benz as an apprentice and shortly after a Master Technician. Currently Alex works as shop foreman in a large fleet repair facility. Aside from writing his automotive passion is very diverse. Alex’s car collection consists of ...Read more
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