Uber challenges Costa Rican transportation law with its ride service

At the very least, Uber Technologies, Inc., has to be called bold.

The firm is challenging Costa Rica’s traffic laws by setting up an alternative taxi service. This is the same tactic it has used throughout the world.

News reports say that the company is in violation of the law in many countries but the firm keeps operating under the cover of the Internet.

One report said that Uber services in Paris have been suspended while a court decision is awaited.

The firm, which began service here last week, most certainly is headed to court. The traffic police began ticketing Uber drivers Friday. There were reports that vehicles of  Uber drivers have been damaged over the weekend and that licensed taxi drivers are the prime suspects.

Uber executives here have met with the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes, said Vice Minister Sebastian Urban, who added that the company began service here 24 hours after that meeting.

Uber uses a smartphone application to put passengers in touch with their rides. In some countries, Uber has teamed up with licensed taxi drivers, according to news reports. But not here. There have been worldwide protests.

Some Costa Rican lawmakers support the company because they see it leading the way to deregulation of public transportation.

The vice minister noted that the fine for providing illegal passenger service is 103,544,10 colons ($196.50) and that traffic police can remove the plates of offending vehicles. Impounding the vehicle also is possible.

The primary complaints against Uber is that the drivers are not insured, do not pay the same fees as licensed drivers and that the fares are not regulated.

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