The lack of tourist arrivals, a group close to the 120 taxi drivers who operate at the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) obtained the approval of the Public Transport Council (CTP) to provide services outside the air terminal.
This group of orange taxis will join the regular taxis or “rojos” (red) and not be tied down to the airport as an operational base. In other words, they are not empowered to mobilize passengers in other areas.
The extraordinary measure is taken in the context of the crisis associated with the coronavirus COVID-19. Air operations at the terminal is practically suspended and the arrival of tourists is nil, yet the drivers must pay the airport US$200 monthly in operations fees.
Rubén Vargas, the representative of the Union of Costa Rican Taxi Drivers (UTC), who reported the adjustment endorsed by the CTP, added that, for now, the regular taxi drivers are in agreement as long as they are phased in, that groups of 30 of the orange taxis be distributed among the central cantons of Alajuela, San José, Heredia and Cartago.
“Taxi drivers are a family. We cannot see our colleagues at the airport as competition. They have to bring food home. Here, our declared enemy, the illegal operators of the service platforms (Uber and Didi), the bus companies that are offering services for 3 or 4 people, the owners of minivans that handle 3 or 2 people with a capacity of 8 people,” Vargas emphasized.