UBER 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.