Costa Rica´s TAXIS DRIVERS Staging Nationwide Protest Against UBER: Tuesday 9th August

Costa Rica´s TAXIS DRIVERS Staging Nationwide Protest Against UBER: Tuesday 9th August

Be prepared for long delays and tail-backs tomorrow!  Right across the country, the Costa Rican Taxis drivers are staging a national protest against, what they say, is the illegal operation of the ride-hailing service, Uber.

There are no official points given as to where the taxis are planning to execute their protest, but logically, it will be where they can cause the most havoc to the major road networks and highly probable, during rush-hour traffic.   Strategic sites such as highways and major routes will most likely be blocked with the drivers demanding the government officials to enforce the law to stop Uber and other unlicensed taxis drivers.

Gilbert Ureña, the leader of the National Taxis Drivers Forum, stated quite clearly on the group´s Facebook page, his frustration of losing work to Uber, “we will demand that the government stop these crooks from stealing our jobs.”

But President Luis Guillermo Solís remains defiant against the action being taken tomorrow with a promise of no tolerance to those who deliberately block traffic.  In his statement last Friday he assured the public, “If there are people who try to block (the roads) we will use whatever means necessary within the law to remove them and assure that they don’t impact traffic flow.”

However, it is advisable for everyone to plan the day ahead with a bleak outlook of tomorrow´s traffic grinding to a halt.  In particular, the main cities are guaranteed to be targeted with San José expecting the worse of the taxis drivers protest.  


Since Uber first launched in Costa Rica on August 21st 2015, there are now 7,000 unlicensed drivers against the 14,000 registered taxis in the country.  Uber have gained more than 225,000 registered users within its first year of operation, although there are still 52 per cent of the population preferring to stay loyal to the red taxis.  Some argue that they do not like the on-line company holding their credit card details, but those who opt for Uber are happy with the better quality of vehicles and cheaper rates.


On the back of the heals of Uber, is another ride-hailing company called Cabify,  who confirmed in May their intention to open up in Costa Rica in the coming months.  Even though the government has already said the service, like Uber, is illegal under current legislation, it appears to be of little consequence to the $320 million company.  Founded in 2011, the Spanish based Cabify is currently operating in Spain, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Colombia and Portugal with eyes on Argentina and Brazil.

With this latest announcement by yet another taxis-hailing company, the intense competition will only do further damage to the already war-torn Costa Rican Taxis, whose fight continues to protect their livelihoods until there is some clarity or enforcement of the law.



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