Uber Service in Panama Restricted

The new regulation for the transport technology platform establishes that the service can be provided exclusively in the provinces of Panama Oeste, Panamá, Colón and Coclé.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

From a statement issued by the Presidency of Panama:

Drivers working with transportation technology platforms must be over 21 years of age and have a Type E1 license, issued by the Transit and Land Transportation Authority (ATTT). 

Type E1 licenses are reserved for Panamanians and any drivers of this system must present a police record.

According to the Executive Decree signed this afternoon by President Juan Carlos Varela and the Minister of Government, Carlos Rubio, a period of 6 months is established for the operators of these platforms to adapt their systems to go back to collecting tickets electronically. That is to say, there is a period of time to eliminate cash payments. In addition, the luxury transport service offered through information and communications technologies, called (ICT), has been created. 

Read full release (in Spanish).



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January 2019

Arguing that traditional taxi services and Uber should coexist simultaneously, the government of Costa Rica presented a proposal to regulate the collaborative transport service.

Uber, the computer platform for passenger transportation that has been operating in Costa Rica for more than three years, has faced, as in other markets, the opposition of local taxi drivers, who claim that they compete under unequal conditions.

Freight Transport: Threatened?

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The Uber technological platform, which in Central America is currently transporting people and food, is planning to expand its service offerings to the freight transport business.

Uber and Uber Eats, platforms for transporting people and delivering prepared food, respectively, are already operating in the countries of the region. However, the U.S. company's new bet for Latin America is to use Uber Freight to transport cargo.

Plan to Regulate Uber in Panama

August 2017

The Varela administration has announced that it will be working on the creation and implementation of a legal framework for the operation of transportation technology platforms such as Uber.

From a statement issued by the Presidency of Panama:

UBER: Self-Supply Community

September 2015

In order to avoid typecasting it as a public transport service, in Costa Rica the company has invented a new concept comparing itself to a private club.

Uber itself created the concept "Self-Sufficienct Community " a scheme used to offer a shuttle service that aims to "make your mobility needs self-sufficient." Under this arrangement, which has been questioned by the government, which argues that the service is illegal, they say they have already recorded "... 17,000 registrations and 25,000 travel requests."

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