The startup world is going crazy for apps in Costa Rica, as around the globe - but real estate on your little screen is more expensive than most hopeful entrepreneurs care to consider. "Doing Business" takes a look at the challenge of creating a solution that people will actually use.
Despite the government’s opposition to the ride-hailing service, it has yet to decide on an enforcement strategy that would keep Uber vehicles off the road in Costa Rica.
Claudio Umaña always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and last year he got his chance. The 36-year-old electrical engineer got a phone call from an old friend from their time together at Intel in Costa Rica with an idea for a smartphone application. Umaña hopped on an airplane and moved to Barcelona, Spain, soon after to get in on the ground floor.
Presidency Minister Sergio Alfaro told reporters during a press conference Tuesday that blocking Uber is not a viable solution to the controversy. “This administration is not against technological advancement,” Alfaro told reporters.
“Members of the union, who are traffic officers, have the right to have their own opinion about the legality or not of Uber but they do not have the right to not comply with their duties and disobey orders,” Traffic Police Commissioner Mario Calerdón said.
Aspiring Uber drivers carved out a few hours of their Mother’s Day holiday Saturday to learn about the ride-hailing service as it waits for a green light from the government to start operations in Costa Rica. The company could start operating any day.
Vice Minister of Transport Sebastián Urbina told La Nación that any cars operating with Uber would be considered “pirates” and could face fines of ₡99,000 (roughly $185) and lose their plates.
The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, ruled in favor of an appellant whose employer ordered him to shut down a private WhatsApp group chat named after the clinical laboratory at the Max Terán Valls Hospital in Quepos, Puntarenas.