Taxi fares going up again, but the increase is less than 2 percent

If there is anything as equally certain as death and taxes, it is that taxi fares will continue to increase along with the price of petroleum.

The Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos, as expected, announced higher fares Wednesday based on salaries, the rate of exchange with the dollar and the cost of fuel as reported March 28.

The increase is 1.92 percent for regular taxis and 1.95 percent for orange airport vehicles at Juan Santamaría airport.

For customers, this means an increase of 15 colons, about 3 U.S. cents, for the first kilometer, from the current 570 to 585, about $1.15. Subsequent kilometers or a part thereof will be billed at 580 colons, 10 colons or 2 U.S. cents more.
The airport rate is going from 835 for the first kilometers to 850, about $1.70.

Taxi passengers are responsible for any tolls, in addition to the amount shown on the taximeter, the Authoridad noted. The agency also reminded users that there is no difference in the rate based on the time of day, condition of the road or the origin or destination.

Frequently there are taxis without meters or with hidden meters at hotels. Drivers justify their higher rates because they say they have to share part of the money collected with the hotel. Although the Authoridad routinely discounts these claims, there hardly ever are any crackdowns, and hotel taxis continue to overcharge users, in particular foreigners.

The rates go into effect the day after they are published in the La Gaceta official newspaper.

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