Taxi in the CityTaxis in the city
Taxi is a practicable transport mode in the country as well as in the Costa Rican city. As a rule, taxi services are about 10-15 fold as pricey as public busses, but become cheaper if 3-4 persons share the costs. The excess is ¢500 ($0.95) for the first mile and ¢300 ($0.56) thereafter.
Like in most jurisdictions, non-licensed taxi cab service is unlawful. Costar Rica has enacted special regulations that prohibit the operation and participation of riders. Apart from a few drama incidents involving the arrest of TV newscameras, when it went into operation in August 2015, the law had no effect.
The majority of crossings are in the main San José basin, but it is constantly increasing. A taxi trip in San José can offer as much value of information as transport. Approximately 600 per km plus 640 "stopping time" for each six-minute or longer journey is the ticket price.
Taxi riders must use a counter (María); make sure you use it ("Ponga la María por favour"). In Costa Rica there are no additional costs. However, there is a supplement for taxi services, which is installed in the counter. Offical taxi's are marked blue with octagonal signs on the sides, one metre and a illuminated shield on the top (a licenced taxi Aeropuerto runs small buses and taxi's from the airport).
Upon collection or return at SJO airports, taxi fares may be increased (see fee table). You should try to prevent pirates (pirate taxis) or unauthorised taxi services, as they are often charged with exploiting them. There are occasional accounts of non-licensed riders stealing and setting down people. Outside San José, most taxi services are large all-wheel drive Land Rovers and Range Rovers.
They know how to get anywhere or who to ask, and often near nature preserves and bioreserves, you'll find them educational leaders. The use of counters outside the San José area is not rigorously regulated or the counters are often "broken". One good guide to calculating how much you should be paying to have a rider waiting for you while you are visiting an attraction would be the offical price of 4,120 per hour in San Jose ($7.75), which is enforceable in San Jose but negotiated in the countryside.
Taxis usually meet near the Parque Central, the Central Station or the Market in smaller town. Particularly if you are not travelling on a trip or in a hired vehicle, stow $100 or so for a long taxi trip or two, and then use it. To compare: The fast train from SJO to San José city centre costs 585 or $1.10 per passenger.
For longer distances in the country, the offical tariff is only a general guide. Unless you're willing to afford enough, the riders have the right not to take you. We almost doubled the price of the offical set when the rider thought he had to come back empty. However, we did get less than 1/4 of the usual tariff if the rider had a co-usin he hadn't seen for a while in the city we drove to and thought there was a good opportunity for a flight back.
When you have a taxi issue, you can call ARESEP's toll-free number 800-027-3737 to call it in during office hour to tell bi-lingual people.