• Costa Rica Real Estate

Costa Rica proposes law to legalize (and tax) ride-hailing app Uber

January 23, 2019

Uber’s questionable legal standing in Costa Rica may soon reach a resolution.

The country’s Executive Branch on Tuesday proposed a law that will allow “taxi drivers and services such as Uber to coexist simultaneously, under fair conditions of competition,” according to a press release from the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT).

“Our commitment is to progress in a system where taxis and transportation technology platforms can coexist under conditions of fair competition,” said President Carlos Alvarado.

“It is an issue that as a country we have postponed for many years, and it was time to make decisions about it.”

The bill would designate transportation platform companies such as Uber as public services. The companies would have to register with the Public Transportation Council and enact policies promoting rider safety.

Services such as Uber would be subject to a value-added tax of 13 percent. The proposal also says companies that “operated prior to the enactment of this law” would have to pay a registration fee of nearly $13,800,000, which would be earmarked to fund modernizations to Costa Rica’s public-transportation systems, including taxis.

Uber did not immediately return a request for comment, but in a September 2018 open letter to the government, the company said that “since our first day of operations in Costa Rica, Uber has sought to be part of the country’s development and to improve transportation options for Costa Ricans.”

[UPDATE: Read Uber’s response to the proposed law here.] 

Taxi drivers have staged repeated protests against ride-hailing services since Uber launched operations in Costa Rica in August 2015. Uber drivers have continued to offer rides, though they often do so surreptitiously to avoid hefty fines from the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP).


This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.

Support the Tico Times
This story was updated at 12:30 p.m. to include Uber’s statement on the legislation.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Liberia airport improvements nearly complete, government says
Costa Rica
8 views
Costa Rica
8 views

Liberia airport improvements nearly complete, government says

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 16, 2019

Improvements to the runway at Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) in Liberia, Guanacaste are expected to be completed by…

CNE evaluating damages after heavy rains in Guanacaste
Costa Rica
18 views
Costa Rica
18 views

CNE evaluating damages after heavy rains in Guanacaste

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 16, 2019

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) has begun evaluating damages after heavy rainfall damaged infrastructure and forced some evacuations in northern…

Experts urge action to reduce inequalities of black Latin American population
Costa Rica
32 views
Costa Rica
32 views

Experts urge action to reduce inequalities of black Latin American population

AFP and The Tico Times - October 15, 2019

Latin American authorities and specialists urged Tuesday in Costa Rica for countries to adopt strategies to eliminate the inequalities that…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!