14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 28 September 2017 — Electric motorbikes, known as motorinas, continue to gain space on Cuban streets as an alternative to congested public transportation and the high prices of private taxis. This light vehicle has also become an ally for the home delivery food business, owners of homes for rents and illegal traders.
In the tourist city of Trinidad local entrepreneurs have added to the rental of rooms the rent of motorinas by the hour so that their customers can tour the colonial style streets. In Havana, pizza delivery companies deliver their orders on these vehicles whose price ranges from 1,900 to 2,500 CUC, depending on quality.
During the days of Hurricane Irma, these electric motorbikes were essential to evacuate everything from people to appliances. Given their small size and the ability to squeeze through almost any path – no matter how narrow – they were a great help in getting supplies from one place to another. The main problem was associated with their weak point, they run on electricity and the storm-induced blackout lasted for several days, during which motorbike owners could not charge the batteries.
“There was silence because you couldn’t hear a television of a motorina,” says Calixto, who lives in the center of Caibarién, describing those days. When the electricity returned, the motorinas once again continues their frantic action in the cities.