Updated 06:10 AM EDT, Fri, Aug 14, 2020

Uber Not Welcomed in Costa Rica, Taxi Drivers Block Roads in Protest

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A number of taxi drivers cried in protest against the emergence of Uber in Costa Rica, saying that the international service is a big threat to their livelihood. In fact, agitated motorists were seen blocking driveways on Monday, asking the government to stop the mobile ride hail company in the country.

The Central American operators admitted that they can't compete with Uber because of the high prices of operating licenses and insurance that they can't afford. They all joined together and decided to park their taxis in front of Casa Presidencial, according to The Tico Times.

They also barred the overpass and off ramp in Zapote and jammed traffic at La Hispanidad rotunda in front of the San Pedro Mall. They also threw eggs over the taxi drivers who didn't join their protest.

As a counteract, Uber decided to offer free rides to its users. The company announced ₡15,000 or about $30 free fair for its riders from 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. using the promo code COSTARICANOPARA on Monday.

"On a day as hard to get around as today, we've decided to give away a free ride to all the members of our community because if #CostaRicaNoPara (Costa Rica doesn't stop), Uber won't stop," the company wrote.

Before the protest, some of the government officials met with the organization of taxi drivers, Tico Times added. President Luis Guillermo Solís' administration was firm in saying that "Uber's service is illegal under Costa Rica law."

This is the authority being held by the Government Attorney's Office and the Public Transportation Council. However, it is not yet known how this law will be implemented as Uber remains in the country.

On the contrary, Science and Technology Minister Mauricio Jenkins contradicted the interruption of Uber in Costa Rica. "We're not in the business of censoring the Internet. That is not a step that this government or any other democratic government wants to take," he told the reporters.

Meanwhile, Uber was launched in Costa Rica just last year in spite of being unauthorized, Yahoo News reported. In fact, they haven't received any permission from the government to continue their service in the country.

Uber is now earning more or less $50 billion in 58 countries.

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