QCOSTARICA | Costa Rica’s taxi drivers really detest Uber, now claiming that government is complicit with the multinational that began operations in the country last August.
Gilbert Ureña, head of the National Taxi Drivers Forum (Foro Nacional de Taxistas), said there are politicians in collusion (with Uber) and for that reason the services continues to operate, despite being classified as “illegal”.
The union leader added that according to confidential information that legislative aides frequently use Uber. Ureña also criticizes PAC legislator, Franklin Corella, for promoting legislation to legalize the service.
At the Costa Rican Union of Taxi Drivers (Unión Costarricense de Taxistas), Ruben Vargas says “there are political hands in the business”.
The taxi drivers unions are clear, until the taxi industry suspends payment of fees and take to the streets, authorities will do nothing to regulate Uber.
Meanwhile, the number of people becoming Uber drivers and people using the service continues to grow.
For example, a journalist for the defunct channel 9 (Canal 9) news, says she turned to becoming a Uber driver to make a living.
“I don’t consider I am doing anything illegal,” she told La Nacion in an interview, her identity not being revealed.
“I am a journalist; I worked at Canal 9 and when the channel closed and was unemployed and I decided to do whatever it takes to survive and I started working in a fast food restaurant; I could not survive on the wages there, I have debts to pay. Then a friend told me about Uber and I went to do the induction and started on the adventure on December 24. I did it because I need to earn money to live well and to move forward.”
The journalist, slash, Uber driver, says in the first three weeks she cleared about ¢200,000 colones and that is not working every day.
“… Really I do not know if I’m afraid to be stopped (by the traffic police) because I’m working; If I experience a consequence, I will stop.”
Maury Sosa, also speaking to La Nacion, says she earns about ¢130,000 a week, learning of becoming a Uber driver as a client of the service.
“I liked the service. Then I talked to my husbands and told him I was going to buy a car and start working with Uber. I bought and financed a used car,” said Sosa.
“So far I have done very well, I am happy because I put ‘my’ time in, I decide the hours I want to work and am my own boss. I work for entertainment, not to make monty. I am working to brighten the day of people who get in my car; I have had 250 fares and have met some very nice people. I earn 80% of the fare, others make 75% because they joined later; each week I earn ¢130,000 colones,” said Sosa.
The Uber driver added that many (customers) help out the drivers: “I will sit in the front so that they (police) don’t think you’re a pirate (gypsy cab),” says Sosa.
Have you used Uber in Costa Rica? if so, tell us you reasons for using the service and your experience (good and bad). If not, why not?