Action by lawmakers freezes increase in public bus fares

The legislators of the Partido Acción Ciudadana have challenged in the constitutional court four increases in bus fares.

The party in a release posted to its Web page says that the increases are illegal because they were characterized as emergency measures when there was no emergency.

The Sala IV constitutional court has agreed to hear the appeal, said the party.

The Authoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos announced the increases last week. As a result of the legal action, the fares are frozen at their current lower level.

Acción Ciudadana said that in approving the fares, the agency failed to hold a public hearing where those affected could voice their opinions. The party also said the rapid decision prevented a detailed analysis of the need and the condition of the buses.

The agency rejected the bulk of the requests for increases because of what it said was lack of required documents.

The Authoridad Reguladora granted the increases in the face of soaring fuel prices. Some Acción Ciudadana lawmakers have said that the reason for opposing the fare increase was to safeguard the purses of bus passengers. One lawmaker estimated that the rate increases might cost individual passengers 4,000 to 5,000 colons a month, some $8 to $10.

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