Formal taxi drivers not welcoming the idea. Photo Gerson Vargas/La República
Formal taxi drivers are not welcoming the idea. Photo Gerson Vargas/La República

QCOSTARICA – With clearly defined routes and rates, taxi drivers could soon provide “collective” public transport, according to a proposal by PLN legislator, Antonio Alvarez.

For users, the ability of taxis to group a number of passengers from one single location, would be a quick and inexpensive way to reach their destinations.

For the formal or legal (red) taxis, the proposal gives them a fighting chance against the informal or illegal taxis that already group a number of passengers to offer a low-cost transportation. Alvarez added that the new model would also allow formal taxi drivers to compete against services like Uber.

However, the proposal is not being meet with open arms by the taxi drivers and bus operators.

Explaining his proposal, Alvarez said taxi drivers could use heavy user routes like San Jose to Desamparados, Tibas, the UCR, Universidad Latina and office centres, to take on the maximum allowed number of passengers (typically 4), and dividing the total cost among them.

The proposal does not the change the way taxis currently operate, picking up passengers at the curb or generate any unfair competition, simply a possible solution to reduce traffic congestion and lower cost for users.

Gilberth Ureña, head of the Fenacotaxi (union) said the service could mean people stop using individual (taxi) services and thus, many people (drivers) would lose their jobs and way of living.

The proposal by the legislator requires approval by the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Publicos (ARESEP), the government agency regulating public transport prices and services.

Source: La Republica.

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