Regulating agency seeks advice on Uber

Pressured by taxi drivers, the nation’s regulatory agency will consult with the top government lawyers to see if it can block the Uber internet application.

The Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos noted it was supposed to meet with taxi drivers earlier but that a meeting had been rescheduled for this afternoon on the matter.

The Unión de Taxistas Costarricenses is seeking to have the internet application blocked because this is a key part of Uber’s marketing strategy. The taxi drivers want to eliminate the competition.

The regulador general, Roberto Jiménez, is almost certain to find that tampering with internet access is not something a government is able to do.  In addition there are other court actions pending involving Uber that will restrict any government action. There are believed to be cases in the Sala IV constitutional court and in the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo.

Taxi drivers are threatening another blockade of the nation’s roadway if they do not get their way. A blockade Tuesday pretty well shut down the country. But it also generated public anger with the taxi drivers.

The government said that to provide transport service to the public, a firm must have approval from the Consejo de Transporte Público. But Uber has been operating for nearly a year without such permission.

Those who use the Uber service are impressed by the quality, the courtesy and the prices.

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