Lawsuit seeks to uphold transportation monopoly in Hidalgo

Thousands of people cross the Hidalgo/Reynosa International Bridge from Mexico to eat, shop and visit loved ones.

That TMs what brought Alejandra Beltran to McAllen on Friday.

I come to buy things and to visit my mother-in-law and friends, she said.

Beltran crosses the border frequently.

She said once on the American side of the bridge there are two options, ride a bus or take a taxi.

There are several taxi companies but only one bus company servicing the stop.

It would be nice to have more options, a bus that comes at different times and takes you different places, Beltran said.

Creating options is what landed these Hidalgo City Commissioners in this courtroom.

This man controls half the taxi business and the only busing business in Hidalgo and that TMs what we are here for, Hidalgo City Commissioner Gustavo Sanchez said.

Sanchez and city commissioner Guillermo Ramirez are being sued by commissioner Rudy Franz.

Franz owns half the cabs permitted in the city and the only bus company allowed to service the international bridge.

Now he TMs joined forces with the other taxi companies claiming the two commissioners want to hurt their business.

It TMs strictly political because they want to corrupt the system and you will hear that in court today, Franz said.

The opposing side said that claim is not true.

They claim they want to create an even playing field in the transportation business.

We are pro business and we want our community to grow and we are not satisfied by the way the system is right now, Ramirez said.

The pending lawsuits have prevented a vote by the Hidalgo City Council to authorize a new bus company to service the bridge for over two months.

Although bus riders like Beltran would like more options, she said she is fine with one bus company as long as they don TMt raise their prices.

Judge Jessie Ramirez of the 449th District Court is expected to rule on the case September 6th.

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