At the Tracopa bus station in San Jose, like at most other bus stations, hospitals and office buildings, taxi drivers prefer to go where the customers are and not use the authorized taxi stands
At the Tracopa bus station in San Jose, like at most other bus stations, hospitals and office buildings, taxi drivers prefer to go where the customers are and not the authorized taxi stands. Photo La Nacion/ M. Lopez

QCOSTARICA – Every day taxi drivers are faced with obeying the law and wait for fares at authorized taxi stands or be close to where the customers are.

Although they typically cause traffic chaos, buses having to maneuver around parked taxis, major roads in front of hospitals, for example, becoming congested, most taxi drivers choose the option of being where the fares are.

“People get off the bus here and grab a taxi here”, Carlos Alberto Wilson, one of the many taxi drivers who choose to park near the customers, told La Nacion.

“I can stay here (points to the authorized taxi stand) and not get a fare, or go to the other side, and risk a traffic fine”, added Wilson.

One area that daily is a nightmare for drivers is in front of the Hospital Mexico, in La Uruca, where a two lane road has taxis parked on both sides, leaving a narrow path for buses, ambulances and other vehicles.

The Consejo de Transport Publico (CTP) – Public Transport Council – has, is attempting to control the problem, recognizing that illegally parked taxis add to the downtown San Jose traffic congestion problem.

“We are conscious of the problem, however, today, due to lack of a police presence taxi drivers park wherever,” said Mario Zarate, director of the CTP.

According to the CTP, in downtown San Jose there are 47 authorized taxi stands.

The fine for a taxi driver parking in unauthorized areas is ¢51,000 colones.  But, not enough traffic officials to provide controls.