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President Alvarado agrees: Time for ‘balanced regulation’ of Uber in Costa Rica

September 4, 2019

After taxi drivers protested ride-sharing platform Uber on Tuesday by intentionally congesting major roads in San José, President Carlos Alvarado issued a statement saying his administration “believes there should be a balanced regulation and that it should happen soon.”

The declarations came after the Minister of the Presidency, Víctor Morales, met with taxi drivers’ union representatives.

“We believe that there should be a regularization that is prompt, that creates balance in the market, that can generate the conditions of compensation,” President Alvarado said. “We all agree that we want a bill that improves conditions for the benefit of families.” 

The two sides agree on the following points, according to Casa Presidencial:

  • To bring to the Legislative Assembly as soon as possible a law that would regulate ride-sharing platforms such as Uber.
  • To generate market equilibrium between taxis and ride-sharing platforms.
  • To compensate taxi drivers and their families.

The taxi drivers agreed to suspend their protest and continued discussions with the government on Wednesday.

Taxi drivers’ discontent about Uber in Costa Rica has persisted since the platform was first introduced here in August 2015.

In 2017, responding to ongoing complaints from unions, the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) and the Public Transportation Council (CTP) said they do not have the authority to block the software in Costa Rica, leading to nationwide protests from taxi drivers.

Costa Rica’s Executive Branch in January introduced a bill to legalize (and tax) platforms such as Uber, but the proposal garnered widespread criticism — including from Uber itself, which would have faced a hefty registration fee and fines.

In the meantime, Uber and other ride-sharing platforms continue to offer service in Costa Rica.

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