Hundreds of taxi drivers jammed streets in Costa Rica’s capital San Jose on Monday demanding the government block the mobile app for Uber, saying the US-based ride-share company threatens their livelihood.
The peak-hour protest echoed anti-Uber actions by taxi drivers in many other countries around the world.
Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis has called Uber’s operations “illegal,” a stance he repeated Monday in an interview with Columbian radio.
But he said the issue can’t be resolved with taxis blocking streets, and his government signalled it would not seek to block Uber’s app.
“That would be censoring the Internet, and we don’t agree with that,” Science and Technology Minister Mauricio Jenkins told the newspaper La Nacion.
Uber expanded its service to Costa Rica last year, despite not receiving government authorization. The company, valued at more than $50 billion (roughly Rs. 3,39,585 crores), is now present in 58 countries.
Taxi drivers in the Central American country claim they are unable to compete with Uber because of higher overheads costs such as operating licenses and insurance.