Sunday 2 October 2022

Is This The End For Uber in Costa Rica?

Taxi drivers continue to protest against Uber

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01 October 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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Following a day of protests in the streets, tortuguismo in many areas and five hours of ‘intense’ negotiations, the taxi drivers and the government came to an agreement on Wednesday.

After a long day, both parties signed, on Wednesday night, an agreement to end the protest movement of the taxis.

After the meeting, at 10:30 pm, Communications Minister Juan Carlos Mendoza announced 10 points of consensus, among them the Government will intensify controls on transport that operate outside the regulations, such as Uber.

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Mendoza was clear that the Government reiterates its willingness to continue the dialogue as long as there is no pressure measures such as blockades, obstruction or tortuguismo of public roads.

“In this sense, the full weight of the law will be applied to ensure the safety and free transit of citizenship through all routes in the country, and the agreements reached today (Wednesday) will be suspended in the event of situations of blockages. We are pleased to have reached this agreement and we hope that these agreements are complied with,” said Mendoza.

With respect to the informal transport, in particular with respect to Uber, the taxi drivers union are to present in the coming days a formal request to the Governing Council (Cabinet) to set its position on the cessation of operations of Uber in the country.

The agreement reached compromises the Alvarado administration to respond within a maximum of 45 calendar days.

There was also a reaffirmation that the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) will lead an effort to regular transport modes.

The MOPT will have the support of the Ministerio de Trabajo (Labor Ministry) and the Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Telecomunicaciones (Micitt) – Science, Technology and Telecommunications – to regulate apps such as Uber.

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Another point of agreement was that the Executive branch will schedule a meeting with the Minister of Finance and the taxi guild, with the intention of assessing the tax implications of the operation of irregular transport service apps.

The Government undertook to investigate, through the Ministry of Foreign Trade (Comex) whether the decree that empowers Uber to operate within the free zone regime is being fulfilled in its scope and restrictions.

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