They slowly crossed downtown San José of almost 12 kilometers from Paseo Colón in Sabana until arriving at the Presidential House in Zapote.
- Archive photo for illustration purposes only -






























Published on Thursday, September 2, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

On Wednesday, several red-taxi and bus drivers caused hours of heavy traffic jams in the main streets in San José Province.

According to the National Taxi Driver Cooperative, an organization where the majority of taxi companies are listed, known as red-taxis, the protest began early in the morning. They slowly crossed downtown San José of almost 12 kilometers from Paseo Colón in Sabana until arriving at the Presidential House in Zapote.

The Public Transportation Council, which is the organization in charge of regulating public transportation, such as taxis, buses tourist transportation and even school buses, in a brief statement, said to the protesters who "stop providing the services (referring to taxis) or not to put the buses into operation is to deny people their right to be transported and that is more difficult for users, for operators and for the entire country, given that it is an important activity for the country's economy and production," they said.

In addition, the Council called on the protesters to dialogue.  "We make the call to always use the spaces for dialogue that we have maintained during the current administration," they added.

However, in the afternoon, the protests reached the vicinity of the Presidential House, where there was already a security operation of several police and traffic officers on the streets. So, protesters could not reach the President as planned.

The protest had the goal of delivering to President Carlos Alvarado a list of requests, among these:

- Organize work meetings in which representatives of the taxi drivers, President Carlos Alvarado, the Minister of Transportation Rodolfo Mendez-Mata, among others, to reach agreements.

- The president should create the State of Calamity Decree on the public transportation sector to allow the government to provide financial assistance to those who have seen their income decreased due to the pandemic and the operations of ride-hailing services (such as Uber or Didi) which are not authorized in the country.

- A temporary increase in the cost of the transportation service fee of 15% to help the sector to reach a financial balance.

- Approval of the law for the regulation of ride-hailing service apps. They request the government to present, again, a bill before Congress to regulate these private transportation services.

- It was requested that traffic officers carry out more control road operations to detect people who are offering illegal taxi services.

- The protesters asked the banks to extend the extensions of their credits until 2023 with preferential rates to help them balance their finances.

- Reduce the concession obligatory payments on buses and taxis.

It is expected that President Alvarado addresses the protester's actions.

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How should the government provide equal conditions to work to taxi and ride-hailing services drivers? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com






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