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Coopetico – A Local Taxi Union – Is to Launch App for Its Customers

taxicrcIn what we believe to be a move against UBER Costa Rica, Coopetico – a local taxi union out of San José – has decided to launch an app to improve its costumer service. The group announced this week that the app will be ready in two weeks and that it will help consumers request taxi services from the location they are, they could even a Tico direction and the drivers will know how to get there (we might have to write an article about a Tico direction sometime in the near future, it is actually amusing).

Coopetico has been working on the app for over a year. Phase one of the project was to test to separate platforms and making the necessary adjustments to come up with a better alternative for taxi users and drivers. The user will also be able to pay for its service with cash or debit or credit card.

Once the user request the service, he will receive confirmation containing the name of the taxi owner and a phone number to contact the owner in case there is a problem with the service or a delay with the arrival of the taxi.

The app was developed by the Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia (ESPH), and will be only available for iOS users. No android version yet. Coopetico informed that they are also offering customer service training to taxi drivers to improve the services they offer to the final consumer.

There has been much complain from the taxi drivers and owners about UBER. However, this move from the taxi group is proving that healthy competition produces better services. Taxi users in Costa Rica would have never dreamed of having apps like this or better services in Costa Rica. It looks lik, but is also helping the consumers of taxi services who won´t be using UBER.

What´s Next for UBER in Costa Rica?

BA37D41EFCUBER has been operating in Costa Rica for one year. Yes, one year! Despite the fact that many want to see it come to a close. Others, have tried to block the app. And yet, others have reacted with violence against UBER drivers. The business is still running and becoming stronger.

Humber Pacheco, UBER manager in Costa Rica, gave and interview to La Republica, which we are summarizing here.

One of the major improvements UBER has accomplished in Costa Rica, is the opportunity to build small businesses. Some car owners, started with one car but now have several cars operating the business. They stablish schedules and split income with drivers. So, UBER is becoming a job source for those who cannot afford a new car, but are needing a job. Humberto Pacheco, says some of these partners are contacting each other through Facebook Pages and other marketing venues.

However, some drivers complain that their earnings are not as high as it was one year ago. According to Pacheco, this makes sense because the demand at the beginning was much higher than expected. Also, there are a lot more UBER drivers in Costa Rica today than there was one year ago. Despite that, UBER Costa Rica is not planning to limit the number of affiliated drivers or cars that are involved in the business.

Pacheco was clear to specify what UBER goal is. The company is not trying to compete with the official taxi drivers. The company is trying to offer a solution for people not to use their personal car in a regular basis. It is also trying to help the country in reducing the carbon dioxide emissions and reduce the amount of cars that are out on the street every day; and in that way, helping reduce traffic jams in the Central Valley.

One of the main concerns is that, UBER drivers who are working for another UBER Partner in Costa Rica will be exploited, and this will create a similar situation as what happens with taxi drivers in Costa Rica today. However, Pacheco did not offer much details about that and rather said that the market will accommodate itself, and that the laws of offer and demand will dictate what happens in the UBER “labor market”.

The last question was related to government regulation. As of today, UBER is not regulated by any government laws in Costa Rica. Pacheco, said they are open to government regulation because they are a legal company, but that any regulation should always be created to benefit the final consumer and not any company or group.

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