• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Anti-Uber protests peaceful in Costa Rica, violent in Mexico City

July 30, 2015

Taxi drivers in San José demonstrated in front of the Colombian Embassy in a sign of solidarity with taxi associations in Mexico City and Colombia protesting the ride-sharing service Uber on Wednesday. Demonstrations were peaceful in Costa Rica and Colombia but violence flared in Mexico City when taxis attacked Uber drivers at Toluca International Airport.

The National Forum of Taxi Drivers announced an alliance last week with other taxi associations in Central America and Colombia to “declare war” on the disruptive ride-sharing app, reported Mexico’s El Universal newspaper. Protesters in Costa Rica drove their iconic red taxis in phalanx to the Dent neighborhood in San José and carried signs reading “No Uber” and “Uber Out.”

Uber does not currently operate in Costa Rica but does have operations in Mexico City, Panama, Colombia and Chile, among other Latin American countries.

(Courtesy Uber.com)
A screen shot of an Uber job based in San José, Costa Rica. (Courtesy Uber.com)

Rumors have swirled about the impending arrival of Uber in Costa Rica after the company quietly posted job positions in English in San José, including a Marketing Manager.

The Tico Times contacted the San Francisco-based company for comment about opening operations here but did not receive a response by press time. Any response will be published in an update here.

The demonstration lasted roughly an hour as protesters presented a letter to the diplomatic mission in solidarity with taxis demonstrating across Colombia including the capital, Bogotá.

Gilbert Ureña, a spokesman for the National Forum of Taxi Drivers, told Costa Rica’s TV Channel 7 News that the service is “dangerous” because it does not offer insurance and threatens the jobs of traditional taxi services.

The Uber mobile app allows users to call private cars, including luxury vehicles, from their smartphones after entering credit card information. Customers do not pay the driver directly, but rather fares are deducted from a user’s account. Uber drivers use the GPS coordinates of the caller’s phone to pick them up.

The company could have a valuation of $50 billion if it goes public, The New York Times reported in March.

The Costa Rican newspaper La República reported that Uber could quickly start operations in Costa Rica by partnering with existing cab companies.

Demonstrations were reportedly peaceful in Colombia and Costa Rica, but violence broke out when at least 10 Uber vehicles were attacked by taxi drivers at the Mexico City airport.

Uber’s Mexico City office published a brief statement calling the violence “unjustifiable.”

There are no ride-share apps in Costa Rica, but mobile apps like Tico Taxi and Easy Taxi allow users to call formal cabs from their smartphones with GPS coordinates.

AFP contributed to this report.

You may be interested

Costa Rica travel alert issued by the U.S. Embassy
Costa Rica
1701 views
Costa Rica
1701 views

Costa Rica travel alert issued by the U.S. Embassy

The Tico Times - May 12, 2021

The United States Embassy in Costa Rica on Tuesday issued a travel alert detailing possible protests and Covid-19 updates. As…

Biden says nearly half of world leaders asking for US vaccine help
Global
3 views
Global
3 views

Biden says nearly half of world leaders asking for US vaccine help

AFP - May 11, 2021

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that almost half the world's leaders have contacted him, asking for US help in obtaining…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, May 11
Costa Rica
78 views
Costa Rica
78 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, May 11

The Tico Times - May 11, 2021

Costa Rica registered 2,555 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday May 5; 2,559 on Thursday, May 6; 2,392 on Friday,…