Uber launches van service in Costa Rica, eyeing tourist traffic

January 8, 2016

Four months after its launch in Costa Rica, the ride-hailing service Uber announced a van service tailored for the country’s lucrative tourism industry. UberVAN went live on Thursday.

The van service, which is designed for groups of between seven and 14, appears aimed at capturing families and larger groups of tourists looking to take day trips from San José. The company’s blog posted a sample fare of ₡25,000 — roughly $50 — from the Rohrmoser neighborhood in western San José to Poás Volcano.

Uber currently only offers ride-hailing service in the San José area — and not yet on top of a volcano — so riders should be sure they ask their driver to wait for them. And remember, the meter is still running (Uber’s sample fee does not include wait time).

The company rolled out its much-loathed surge pricing in November 2015, so users should remember that the fare multiplier could also increase the price of the trip.

Users can split the fare evenly between them though, so the cost doesn’t have to fall to one person.

Uber started operations in Costa Rica in August 2015 despite pushback from the government, which called the company an “illegal public transportation service.” The company exists in a kind of legal limbo here since the government has yet to enforce its decision. There are more than 30,000 registered Uber users in Costa Rica.

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