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ARESEP Speeds Up Gas Price Reductions

September 29, 2006

To keep up with plunging crude oil prices worldwide, Costa Rica’s Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) this week paved the road for quicker gas price reductions.

ARESEP will now be able to make gas price reductions as frequently as once a week; gas price changes used to take as long as a month.

ARESEP previously waited for the National Oil Refinery (RECOPE) to petition for gas price reductions, but now, ARESEP will propose gas price reductions itself, vote on them, and send them to the National Printer for publication in the official government newspaper La Gaceta to make them official. The printer has up to five days to publish the changes once they are approved by ARESEP; then they go into effect.

“ARESEP wants to eliminate a bureaucratic process… we don’t need RECOPE to ask us for a reduction.We have the resources ourselves to know when a reduction is needed,” said ARESEP spokeswoman Carolina Mora.

On Monday, ARESEP approved its fifth consecutive gasoline price reduction. The reduction will bring the price of regular down ¢16 to ¢469, and will bring the price of super down ¢14 to ¢499. The price change had not been published in La Gaceta as of press time.

La Gaceta also has yet to publish a ¢22 per-liter reduction in the price of diesel fuel that would bring the price at the pump down to ¢342 per liter.

Oil prices have fallen by more than 20% since the July peak above $78 a barrel, thanks to rising global inventories, slackening demand growth, and a perception among traders that geopolitical and weather-related supply threats have eased, the Associated Press reported.

La Gaceta published yesterday a 6% reduction in taxi fares, which ARESEP approved last week.

The rates vary based on whether the taxi is a sedan, rural taxi or handicappedaccessible taxi. The price of the first kilometer of a sedan taxi ride will decrease from ¢350 ($.0.67) to ¢330 ($0.63), while the price of each additional kilometer will decrease from ¢320 ($0.62) to ¢300 ($0.58).

Rates for rural taxis and handicappedaccessible taxis will be the same as those for sedan taxis for the first kilometer, but each additional kilometer in a rural taxi will cost ¢330 ($0.63), and each additional kilometer in a handicapped-accessible taxi will cost ¢290 ($0.59).

The “wait” rate taxi users must pay if they call a taxi and the driver has to wait with his or her engine turned on has also dropped for all types of taxis, and the “delay” rate a user must pay if the taxi is forced to travel slower than 10 kilometers per hour will also drop.

 

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