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August 7th, 2006
Ley (law) 7600 ((Igualdad de Oportunidades a las Personas con Discapacidad)) was approved ten years ago and required that all buses be equipped to transport handicapped individuals.
Not too surprisingly, the bus operators decided to wait ten years to see what was going to happen. What happened, of course, was that the law is now being (sort of) enforced and bus drivers are being ticketed whose vehicles are not to the new level. To date, only 12% of all buses have handicap ramps installed.
This law covers all transport vehicles including those vans used to transport tourists. SALA IV, the Costa Rican equivalent of the Supreme Court decided that law was constitutional but that an eight year extension was not, so now the bus operators must act. They are saying this cannot be done, citing a variety of reasons and stating that bus fares will go up 300% and that 90% of the buses will be withdrawn from service.
Somehow, I am having a problem thinking that ten years was not sufficient time to phase in the ramps and spreads costs and labor over that time.
Meanwhile, the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) has given bus operators three months grace to comply or face fines of ¢10.000 colones (us$19.41) for each bus on the road and face confiscation if compliance is not met. The bus operators have vowed to pull all the buses off the streets in protest of the law. Now THAT would be interesting as Costa Rica runs on bus service.
In any case, it appears that this matter will now be dumped on the legislature for resolution… meanwhile… no ramps.Filed under Costa Rica, Health & Education, Immigration & Residency, Life in Costa Rica, Moving to Costa Rica, Politics, Retire in Costa Rica, Travel | Comments (6)