14ymedio, Havana, 17 March 2022 — The Ecotaxis network is looking for 25 new drivers in Havana. According to the State newspaper Granma, the drivers will operate the new routes that will connect Fontanar, the Abel Santamaría neighborhood and Wajay, in the municipality of Boyeros.
The current drivers, who go from the National Bus terminal to the train station, say they need assistants who can replace the drivers when they are not there.
The lack of personnel means that in Havana there are “eight vehicles not operating,” one of the drivers tells this newspaper.
The Taxis-Cuba company, in charge of electric tricycles, highlights that those who apply must, among other requirements, be between 18 and 50 years of age, have no criminal record and have a motorcycle and car license, in addition to three years driving experience in at least one of the two categories.
The current employees report that the experience they are asking for is about five years, and that to apply for the job “you have to go to Ayestarán.”
As this newspaper reported five months after the Ecotaxi service was inaugurated in October 2020, the taxi fare costs four pesos and each tricycle can carry six passengers. Thus, in a trip, a driver can earn 24 pesos, which adds up to 432 after completing the 18 trips of the day.
However, the license holders must deliver 125 pesos to the company and subtract 10% from the difference, which goes to the National Tax Administration Office. The assistants, in addition, must give 300 pesos to the company and this reduces their income (132 pesos).
The leased transport company ensures that each driver travels 100 kilometers on average, during eight working hours, but that “income depends on the capacity and commitment to work.”
“In 2021 alone, more than 92,200 trips were made and just over 724,160 passengers were transported, without emissions of polluting gases into the environment,” the company proclaims.
In the center of Havana, 23 vehicles of this type currently operate, and most of their drivers previously belonged to the Cocotaxis tourist line.
The Ecotaxi project, financed mainly by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to “promote the empowerment of women” — is why all the drivers are women — has been criticized for not being as “green” as announced in the posted advertisements.
The solar panels that are supposed to be used for recharging are still not working, and the batteries are recharged connected to the national electricity system, which is supplied by 95% fossil fuels.
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