October 26th, 2012 (InsideCostaRica.com) – Costa Rica’s taxi drivers are organizing a march towards Casa Presidencial, with the intention of demanding the government not to accept the demands of porteadores (private taxi and other private passenger transport services) for changes to a law meant to regulate their business. Such taxi and special transportation service drivers demanded changes to the “Law for Special Taxi Service” on Tuesday, during a march held in front of Casa Presidencial and the MOPT offices in San Jose.
Ruben Vargas, from the National Union of Taxis, said they are preparing a large public protest.
“We are organizing a big protest against the actions of the porteadores, they were already given the opportunity to regulate their situation, and now they are saying that four or five people took all the permits. However, these people are of their same group,” said Vargas.
“We are not going to allow more permits or variations in the decree, this has to be regulated, as the Public Transportation Council has requested. I will be meeting with three more representatives of our group this weekend, in order to set and coordinate this big protest,” he added.
Vargas also stated that the taxi drivers have spoken with the public bus service drivers, who are willing to join in the protests against the changes the porteadores are asking for in the decree.
According to the porteadores, the decree will affect special transportation service for students, tourists, workers, and cooperative companies.
Meanwhile, today, the porteadores and special transportation service drivers say they will announce the date on which they plan on beginning a National strike. They say another strike was decided upon after the Minister of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT), Pedro Castro, did not meet with the protestors on Tuesday.
Jorge Vargas, from the Private Transportation Forum, stated that they plan on closing down the port of Limon, with the support of the unions in JAPDEVA (Port Administration Board), as well as closing roads to Paso Canoas. They also plan on blocking Routes 32 and 27, as well as various areas of Guanacaste, Puntarenas, and the Central Valley.