(QCOSTARICA) – The decision by the government to renew only 1,324 of the 2,562 permits of informal taxis may lead to violence when traffic officials attempt to confiscate license plates of the illegal taxi operators.
Leaders of the various operators vow to support their member drivers, including some willing to hire gangs from Alajuelita and Leon XIII to, in the words of Rebeca Alfaro Sojo of Transportes Carolina, “be taken at their word”.
Elpais.cr reports having a taped conversation between the various leaders of the guild approving strong actions, that includes the comment, “a traffic official cannot against a mob”.
The fight between legal taxis and the informal (porteadores) has been ongoing for years, with the previous administration agreeing to the issuance of permits to quell the streets protests. The current administration is now cutting those permits in half.
Uber Meeting With MOPT
Aggravating the situation is the “intended” arrival of Uber in Costa Rica.
In a report by Ameliarueda.com, Uber officials say they have scheduled a meeting with the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) next week, on Tuesday.
This would be the first formal approach by the U.S. company to operate in Costa Rica.
The deputy minister of Transport, Sebastián Urbina, confirmed the request made by representatives of the company. Urbina would only say they meeting would take place in the morning, but did not specify the location.
Urbina was emphatic that regardless of the mode of operation, the law is clear that any person or company who comes to work in the country must abide by the relevant regulations, and in the case of Uber will have to operate under permits or concession granted to them by the Board of Public Transport (Consejo de Transporte Público – CPT).
“I do not know how they will get to operate, but it is clear that regardless of the form they shall comply with the law (…),” said the deputy minister.