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Bus Companies Threaten Slowdown in Service

July 11, 2008

If traveling by bus in coming weeks, bring along some reading material.

Representatives from the National Forum of Public Transportation temporarily withdrew from an earlier threat that bus service providers would halt all operations, should a measure to eliminate the diesel tax not be approved by legislators.

Instead, bus companies said they might reduce the number of buses and trips made on national routes in coming weeks to place pressure on legislators, the daily La Nación reported.

Forum President Maritza Hernández  plans to sit down in August with legislators,representatives from the Public Works and Transport Ministry and other government officials to discuss possible solutions to the current transportation crisis.

President Oscar Arias’ administration sent an initiative to the Legislative Assembly on June 25 asking lawmakers to drop the diesel tax and transfer the cost to super and regular gas.

The proposal would hike the regular gas tax from ¢165.75 ($0.32) to ¢306 ($0.59) a liter and super from ¢173.25 ($0.34) to ¢325.50 ($0.63).

Legislators tabled that proposal on Tuesday afternoon, saying they support nixing the diesel tax but not transferring the burden to gasoline consumers.

Instead, they prefer measures such as increasing taxes on goods like cigarettes and alcohol or hiking the airport departure tax from $26 to $31.

No bill has been introduced in the Legislative Assembly yet to replace the administration’s proposal.

 

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