San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Public transport

Regulatory Authority proposes reduction in taxi fares

Costa Rica’s Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) filed a proposal Wednesday to lower taxi fares. It will be submitted for discussion at a public hearing in coming weeks.

ARESEP explained the new proposed fares were calculated following a recent review of fuel prices, salaries, maintenance expenses and other costs, but also respond to a fare revision request from taxi groups including the Costa Rican Federation of Taxi Cooperatives.

The agency is proposing that the first kilometer of a taxi ride drop from ₡645 to ₡615 ($1.19 to $1.13). For additional kilometers the fare would drop from ₡625 to ₡600 ($1.15 to $1.11) and for taxis providing transportation in rural areas, additional kilometers would drop from ₡785 to ₡615 ($1.45 to $1.14).

Taxi drivers are struggling to cope with new competition from ride-hailing service Uber, which entered the market at the end of August. Uber rates are ₡500 ($0.93) for the first kilometer and ₡300 ($0.56) for each kilometer beyond that.

President Luis Guillermo Solís’ administration has said transport services requested through Uber are not legal. Last week a legal review by the Public Transportation Council (CTP) ruled that Uber service is illegal as it does not meet the country’s standards for public transportation.

CTP officials have yet to decide whether to take any legal action against the company, but Presidency Minister Sergio Alfaro said the government has no plans to block Uber.

Just in its first week, Uber reported 17,000 registered app users and 25,000 ride requests.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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derryl

Why is it that a multi billion dollar global corporation like Uber can blatantly disregard a country’s laws and pay no income and payroll taxes in the countries where it employs workers and earns profits, and people call that “the free market”; but if a nation’s cabbies get together and copy Uber’s software to set up their own “legal” internet-dispatched taxi service, that is an unacceptable violation of Uber’s “intellectual property rights”? Private monopolies good, public monopolies bad, bleated the critters in Animal Farm.

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