The Regulatory Authority for Public Services (ARESEP) confirmed Monday that during August, they will begin to implement the new methodology to determine public bus prices, which will provide up to a 25% discount.
According to an ARESEP press release, the application of the methodology will be carried out in stages, dividing the routes into four groups.
Requests for “Group A,” which are the ones submitted by concessionary companies or legally constituted consumer organizations, will be processed immediately by ARESEP with the new methodology. Companies whose route authorization contracts have already been endorsed will also be included in this group.
“Group B” requests will include routes whose recent rate increases generated conflicts with users. These will also be processed immediately, once the Public Transport Council (CTP) has the updated information that allows ARESEP to do the rate modification.
“Group C” will include requests for rate modification for routes that have complete information that are no more than 3 years old. ARESEP will prioritize these requests in accordance with the number of users, the lag in prices, and the geographical area.
Finally, the requests for “Group D” will include those routes that are not in complete operation or updated operation. ARESEP reported that in these cases, because the new methodology allows it, they will use approximate variables to make the rate modification.
ARESEP says that the result of applying the new methodology in the fixing of rates will be a 25% discount.
Roberto Jimenez Gomez, General Regulator, said that this methodology is technically robust. “We have taken the time to analyze its impact and we consider it to be a tool that can adapt to reality and substantive changes; however, it will be subject to a process of continuous improvement,” he said.
Jimenez said that those companies that are financially disadvantaged by the new methodology may submit financial statements showing it, so that ARESEP may analyze the case and, after balancing the interest of the user and the company, perform any modification.
ARESEP expects updated rates of at least 50 bus routes by December of this year.
The General Regulator said that the company CESMAG S.A., which operates routes in San Pedro, Sabanilla, San Ramón, Tres Rios and surrounding areas, will be one of the first to which it applies the new methodology that sets the rates for public bus transportation. The discount is expected to be up to 80 colones.