14ymedio, Havana, 31 October, 2014 – The Engineering Department at Diego Portales University in Chile has released a study that shows Havana as the city with the highest transportation costs relative to salary. The research looked at 20 capitals in the region and was published by the newspaper La Tercera and on Radio Cooperativa.
According to the report, the most costly city with regard to public transport fairs is Havana, whose “inhabitants spend 24% of their minimum salaries” on it.
The cheapest city is Panama City, where people spend only 1.7% of the minimum wage on transport
At the other end of the scale, the cheapest city is Panama City, where the inhabitants only spend 1.7% of the minimum wage on this budget item. In Chile, meanwhile, people pay 12.1% of the minimum wage to use this public service.
Now, if we look at the absolute numbers, the Latin American city with the highest priced transport is Brasilia. Although in relation to the minimum wage it is second highest, behind the Cuban capital.
Public Transport in Cuba has seen a price increase in recent years. Although the official price of most buses is forty centavos in Cuban pesos (CUP), many routes have a fare of 1 CUP. To this is added the deteriorating service and the long waits at the bus stops, which have made many opt for collective taxis—also known as almendrones*–whose fare is 10 CUP one-way.
With a minimum monthly salary of 225 CUP, Havanans were spending almost one-fourth of their income on transportation, according to this study at Diego Portales University.
*Translator’s note: The word “almendrone” comes from the Spanish word for “almond” and is a reference to the shape of the 1950s American cars that are commonly used as privately operated shared-taxis.