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Gas prices, bus fares in Costa Rica could soon drop

August 17, 2015

The Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) on Monday started evaluating a request to lower gas prices that could benefit motorists starting in September.

Costa Rica’s National Oil Refinery (RECOPE) asked for cuts that would lower the price of a liter of Super gasoline by ₡43, Plus gasoline by ₡39 and diesel by ₡28.

ARESEP will study the request over the next two weeks and also will hold a public consultation before issuing a final decision on Aug. 28. If approved, new prices will come into effect starting September, following their publication in the official newspaper La Gaceta.

If implemented, the price cut could come on top of another cut — ₡4.74 per liter — in gas prices requested in July in order to return to the public ₡1,109 million ($2 million) spent improperly. ARESEP has yet to approve the cut.

ARESEP is also studying a possible reduction in bus fares that would lower fares nationwide by 4.4 percent on average.

The decrease corresponds to the evaluation of bus fares the agency performs in January and July each year. The proposal on new fares also will be submitted for consultation at a public hearing and if approved new rates would apply starting October.

The regulatory agency every six months evaluates possible variations in bus fares taking into account variables such as gas prices, salaries, bus maintenance costs and other administrative costs. The agency stated on its website that “reductions in per-liter prices of diesel recorded in recent months could favor the decrease in bus fares.”

If approved, bus tariffs would decrease from ₡5 to ₡15 on about 50 percent of the country’s routes.

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