Q COSTA RICA – The legislative bill presented by the Executive Branch a few days ago to regularize the commercial activity of collaborative mobility platforms (such as Uber and DiDi) could be an incentive for many who find in this modality a way to earn money without running the risk of being sanctioned by the authorities.
A driver using the DiDi platform, for example, according to data provided by the DiDi company, can earn between ¢716,000 and ¢916,000 colones (US$1,300 and US$1,600 dollars at today’s exchange rate) monthly, driving eight hours a day, between five and six days a week.
The earnings could be an extra source of income or even a sole source of living, depending on how long you’re logged in to the app.
Using the DiDi company numbers, the earning potential of mobility platform drivers can be higher than the 2023 minimum salaries of people like secretaries with bachelor’s degrees and private accounting graduates, which are set at ¢628,858 colones and ¢752,220 colones, respectively, by the Ministry of Labor.
“More than 87% of collaborating partners and delivery partners (drivers) indicate that they highly value the independence and flexibility to provide services when, where, and how they want,” indicated Uber in a statement, alluding to factors that motivate people to earn money in this modality.
It’s estimated that around 30,000 households live from income from collaborative mobility services. Uber was the first to arrive in Costa Rica some seven years ago with its collaborative mobility services.
Apparently, digital mobility and home delivery platforms contribute up to 0.44% of the country’s GDP, which is huge, as reported by a study of the Cámara de Comerci (Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce) and backed up by Uber.
According to the Ministry of Labor’s list of minimum wages for 2023, being a driver for a mobility platform brings in more money than some jobs like domestic employee, messenger, social media manager, official custodian of securities, and lawyer assistant. This wage is based on an 8-hour workday, 5-6 days a week.
Based on the list of minimum wages of the Ministry of Labor for 2023, the following is a comparison of salaries of some professions or trades that would be lower than the earnings of mobility platform drivers, taking as a reference the connection for eight hours a day, between five and six days a week.
- Domestic employee: ¢236,655 colones monthly
- Messenger: ¢352,164 colones monthly
- Social media manager: ¢381,433 colones monthly
- Legal assistant ¢452,407 colones monthly
- Accounting clerk: ¢396,210 colones monthly
- Executive secretary: ¢626,828 colones monthly
- Pizzero: ¢255,300 colones monthly