What are the means of public transport used most in Costa Rica? According to a recent study by the Institute for Social Studies in Population (IDESPO) – Institute of Social Studies in Population, of the National University, the majority of the population uses buses.

According to the IDESPO,  the response of the 1,003 people were surveyed revealed that almost half of the respondents (460) always or almost always use the bus, followed by 1 in 4 (240) who take an Uber, 17% (166) take a ‘piarata’ (informal) while 12% (116) ared (formal) taxi and few, only around 1% (14) take the train.

Buses in Costa Rica are cheap and var in price; they can be taken both inside and outside the greater metro area of San Jose (GAM), with service schedules ranging from 4 am until 11 pm. Frequency is greatest during the morning and afternoon on weekdays.

1 out of every 4 Costa Ricans take an Uber (Didi had not yet started operations when the survey was taken), being the most used transport service only behind buses and 9 out of 10 people share the idea that Uber must remain in the country, but regulated by the State

The reason train service is used by few is speculated that this service has very limited coverage. The commuter train only operates in the GAM, from Alajuela to Cartago and Heredia and operates only during weekday mornings and afternoons.

Constant traffic incidents involving the train also make this mode of public transport unreliable.

Respondents were also asked how satisfied they are with the service they receive; 97% of Uber users say they are completely satisfied, followed by buses with 72.3% favorable opinions and the last place was for “piratas” with only 16%.