Starting Thursday, San José driving restrictions moved to 13-hour periods, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., a switch from a proposed 24-hour ban.
The Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) cited security and technical considerations with bus routes for the change, according to a ministry press release.
Cars with license plates ending in 1 and 2 will be prohibited from traveling in downtown San José and within the Circunvalación, a belt route around the city, during the 13-hour period on Mondays.
Cars with license plates ending in 3 and 4 will be banned on Tuesdays, cars with licenses ending in 5 and 6 on Wednesdays, 7 and 8 on Thursdays, and 9 and 0 on Fridays.
The measures, which are aimed at reducing the country’s oil consumption, have helped ease traffic congestion in San José in recent weeks. The restrictions originally applied to rush hours from 6-8:30 a.m. and from 4:30-7 p.m. but then officials decided to extend the ban.
The restrictions do not apply to motorcycles, public transportation vehicles, school buses, and vehicles of disabled people. Heavy vehicles are not allowed to travel on the freeways that lead to Alajuela, Cartago and Escazú during rush hours.
Motorists found in violation of these measures face a fine of ¢5,000 (roughly $9.70).