Price regulator proposes a small cut in the nation’s bus fares

The price regulating agency is considering cutting bus fares on more than 3,000 routes. The cuts are tiny, from five to 105 colons.

The reductions are a product of the new methodology that the agency, the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos, is using to provide a fair return to bus operators.

The methodology uses a number of costs to determine a fair return, including the 3.65 percent salary hike authorized for private employers in the first half of this year.

The Autoridad will present the proposal at a public hearing next month where the bus operators are sure to object.

The fare reduction involves 85 percent of the nation’s 3,555 routes. But for 1,845 or about 52 percent of the routes, the reduction is just five colons, which is about a single U.S. penny. For 620 routes, the reduction was from 10 colons to 105 colons. In general the higher the fare for the long routes the higher the reduction.

For example, the fare for the San José to Limón route now is 3,150 colons. The Autoridad proposes 3,430 colons, about $6.90.

No changes are planned for the popular Sabana Cementerio route, which would remain at 190 colons, and the fare for the Heredia route would only be cut 5 colons to 400.

Overall the reduction is just 1.3 percent.

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