In Costa Rica, the taxi service system is different than places like US, Europe, Canada and other places.
Service is provided by the state, throughout concessions given to determinate people, single persons and not to companies, who are supposed to explode it to feed and provide for their families. People can only have one concession, and can be transmitted to their families as a heritage.
Drivers employees are permitted and some times, the concessionaire has a couple of drivers, so they don´t drive themselves. Usually, some owners get together on cooperatives, and they have “garages” with radio connections, and a phone, some of them are very old, from mid 70´s.
Concessions are given by area, certain quantity, determinate by number of people that live or work on the area. Rural areas have fewer taxis than cities. Drivers from one city, cannot pick up people on other cities, there is an amount of cars specially for disable people, and on rural areas, cars are special for hard conditions. Airport taxis in Costa Rica are provided by special concessions.
There is an office on the government that handle complains on taxis. If someone have a problem, or they feel they have been charge more than is fair, or the drivers treat them in an inappropriate way, disrespectful in any way, people can report the taxi, and driver and owner can be sanction, on a formal process, and owners can even lost their concession of taxi service if the behavior is frequent.
Taxi Rate is established by a government office, and it includes an insurance to protect its clients, in case of an emergency, or an accident. All cars have a taxi meter programmed with the rate, and price is determined by what the meter produce, and is a combination on time and mileage (Kilometer in Costa Rica). Al taxi service has to be charge on what the meter said, and you cannot agree on another rate, be it higher or even lower.
In the last ten or more years, people have been given a pirate service, with no insurance, and they have very old and bad cars, with a lower rates but with too many risk. Some of these people are bad people, have drug problems and is very irresponsible. Fines are high, and they sometimes prefer to lose the car. In case of an accident, nobody takes responsibility, and you are on your own.
In addition, now there is UBER, which is by the moment, a pirate service, and it’s been sent to court. As an illegal service, it is question the coverage of insurance, among other things, and coverage is to low. At the same time, regular taxis, no Airport taxis, are not entire capable to handle tourist, or foreign people. In general, in Costa Rica, transportation of people is regulated, and you are required a special permit to transport students, or tourist, or even workers.
For every kind of public transportation of people, you will find a set of requirements and regulations as well as insurance and coverage. Airport taxis have not only the skills, but the permit as well, to drive tourist around, can pick up people anywhere, and can take them wherever they want. When you are in Costa Rica, it is always better to take an official taxi, than any other, and much better, if you take an airport taxi, as they are much capable to understand you, and take you safely to your destination. Gorila Airport Taxi can give you the service you need, with the quality you want, just give us a call, or make your own reservation on this link.