Wednesday 22 September 2021

Will Uber Take Costa Rica By Force?

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Good news is that users are increasingly willing to choose innovative forms of transport from their mobile devices," said Randall Cottin, country manager of Easy Taxi Costa Rica. GERSON VARGAS / THE REPUBLIC
Good news is that users are increasingly willing to choose innovative forms of transport from their mobile devices,” said Randall Cottin, country manager of Easy Taxi Costa Rica. Photo: Gerson Vargas / La Republica

(QCOSTARICA) — Will Uber take Costa Rica by force or respect its laws? That is the question that is being asked around the industry, following the company’s turmoil in nearly all 58 countries where it operates.

For now, the company says it has no specific plans for our country, nor rules it out, yet last week it began recruiting a city manager for San Jose.

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“We are constantly seeking expansion options and talent in the region. However at this time we have no specific plans for Costa Rica. When we have something to share will be in touch,” Rocio Paniagua, Uber Communications for Latin America, told La Republica.

Uber, a company founded in San Francisco, California and with operations in Mexico, Colombia and Panama (among other cities in the world) seems not to care much about what people say or protests against it.

On Monday, in Mexico when it faced the protest of some 6.000 taxi drivers in the capital city, it responded by giving away to its more than 300,000 registered users two free trips for up to 150 pesos (about $10) each. Uber’s minimum trip cost in Mexico City is about $2.65.

axi drivers take part in a protest against the private taxi company Uber in Mexico City on Monday. Photo: Yuri Cortez/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Taxi drivers take part in a protest against the private taxi company Uber in Mexico City on Monday. Photo: Yuri Cortez/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Some Uber drivers in Mexico have reported being verbally or physically attacked, particularly on weekend nights, when competition for revelers is greatest. Few of the attacks have resulted in injuries.

In Colombia, in March the Bogota taxi drivers union has complained that private drivers offering a taxi service is a form of “piracy”,  retaliating by blocking a highway in northern Bogotá in response to Uber offering a special to attract attendees of a music festival, away from regulated taxis.

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In Costa Rica, Carolina Mora, spokesperson for the Aresep, the government agency that controls public transportation, said the law requires a company to have a concession or permits.

Sources: Wsj.com, Todaycolombia.com, Larepublica.net

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