QCOSTARICA – It’s been two months since Uber came to be in Costa Rica, and the car share service continues to operate illegally without any problems, this despite the government’s rhetoric of the past that it would not tolerate any such operation.
The problem is, according to Deputy Minister of Transport, Sebastian Urbina, the government is not sure which agency it falls on to sue the company.
Urbina said the company is in violation for providing the illegal transport of persons, but, it cannot be determined how many members (drivers) the company has in Costa Rica.
When Uber started, even President Luis Guillermo Solis said his government would not be permissive of the use of the application. Two months later, all is quiet on the subject.
The company, according to authorities, is in clear violation of the requirements of the Consejo de Transporte Público (CTP) – Public Transport Council, and the Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) – Attorney General’s Office.
However, the company insists it is not a public transport and as such argues it does not require CTP authorization. And the talks between Uber and Transport officials has not resulted in any agreement or actions, against or in favor of the company.
While the Ministry of Transport stands idle on the issue, taxi drivers are considering a class action lawsuit against Uber and the State for violating the legal obligation to ensure a financial equilibrium in the pubic transport sector. At least that is the word from Gilber Ureña, head of the (legal) taxi driver’s association, who did not specify a date for any such action.
Ureña says that demand for the red taxis has not decreased since the start of Uber.
The Uber fare in Costa Rica are ¢500 colones of the base fare, plus ¢50 per minute / ¢300 per kilometre. The minimum fare is ¢1,000 colones and the cancellation fee is ¢1.000.