Saturday 19 June 2021

Costa Rica Taxi Drivers Could Take A Lesson

A taxi driver holds a sign which reads "No Uber, out", during a protest against car-sharing service Uber.
A taxi driver holds a sign which reads “No Uber, out”, during a protest against car-sharing service Uber.

TICO BULL – Costa Rica taxi drivers could take a lesson from their counterparts in Toronto, who facing the same “Uber problem”, decided to back down from a massive protest for the greater good of the city and the people.

Toronto politicians have declared Uber “illegal”. In Costa Rica, the government has spoken against Uber, implying that the service is illegal. Yet, as in Toronto and Costa Rica, the service is allowed to continue to operate.

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But that is where the similarity lies.

While the struggle of taxi drivers against Uber is the same in Costa Rica as in Toronto, in Costa Rica the way they go about it is completely different.

In Costa Rica the taxi drivers take to “hooliganism” against Uber, their own, the government and most important, you and I, the users of their service.

They will take to blocking streets, slowing down traffic, throwing eggs at taxi drivers who decide to keep working instead of protesting, attacking Uber drivers and more. They even have the backing of the traffic police who, though not admitting officially, are targeting Uber drivers to keep peace with the red taxis – the “forza roja” (red force).

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Meanwhile, in Toronto, the taxi drivers, angry the city won’t launch an injuction to shut down Uber, they backed down, cancelling the UberX protest that would have snarled Toronto streets during the NBA All-Star weekend.

“We’re not saying we’re calling (the protest) off forever,” Sam Moini, president of the Fleet Operators Association, told the Toronto Star. Before the taxi officials spoke, city councillors told Toronto via news cameras that UberX — which uses an app to connect passengers with non-professional drivers using their personal vehicles — is illegal and customers should not use the servicethis Family Day weekend or any time.

Maybe that is what the taxi drivers in Costa Rica need, a decisive voice from the politicians.

The politics aside, what many taxi drivers in Costa Rica fail to realize is that they are their own worst enemies and their actions turn more every day to use Uber instead.

Taxi drivers continue to abuse us with poor service, loud music, dirty cars, bad (risky) driving and as many a foreigner has experienced, the “turbo taxi meter” – that meter that adds up real fast, charging two, three or more times the normal fare.

Personally I know many who have decided to signi up on UberX.

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Maybe a change is needed? And that doesn’t necessarily mean Uber. I think that if taxi drivers were to adopt the Uber style of service, Uber would not be the growing force that it is.

More on Costa Rica’s “Pura Vida” on

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We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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