Lawmaker expresses concern about the arrival of Uber ride service

First there were pirate taxis and now there is Uber Technologies, Inc. The San Francisco, California,-based firm uses a smartphone app to enlist local drivers to convey passengers.

Uber has begun to develop its service in Costa Rica, and the government and licensed taxi drivers are not happy.

The company is claiming it is a private enterprise outside of government control. But maybe not for long.

The situation came up in the legislature Monday when Rolando González Ulloa said that fellow lawmakers should analyze the service.

Licensed taxi drivers have to be heavily insured and present their vehicles for inspection twice a year.

Porteadores have been protesting with blockades because the government has reduced the permits it will issue. The government really plans to run them out of business.

There already are smartphone apps that can contact taxi drivers in Costa Rica. Uber has been the target of protests all over the world, yet it has amassed billions in market value.

The company also has a policy of jacking up the prices in peak hours. Costa Rican taxi drivers have fixed rates issued by the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos. The conflict almost certainly will end up in court.

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