With Public Transportation Operating at 30%, Havana Residents Spend Hours at Bus Stops

Drivers of state vehicles do not stop in response to signals of the new inspectors and, if they do stop, they do not take on any passengers. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 30 May 2022 — “Transportation is bad, but not worse than other days.” Havana residents have not been taken by surprise by the declarations of the provincial authorities acknowledging the critical situation the sector finds itself in, because they have been putting up with it daily for at least three months.

Neither is it any better. This Monday, after the Havana government made the announcement that 286 vehicles, “school buses and from different institutions and organizations,” would be added to the urban buses that are circulating in the capital “as part of the strategy to alleviate situation in this sphere”, there were more Transmetro buses, which normally transport state workers, but this hasn’t seemed to have alleviated the problems, the waiting lines or the crowds.

The inspectors, uniformed in blue, also returned this Monday. Their function is to force state vehicles to stop to take possible passengers who are going in the same direction but, in this regard, they do not impose much of their authority either. As this newspaper was able to testify, either the drivers do not stop in response to their signals or, if they do stop, they do not allow anyone to get in either.

The Government’s voluntarism, which has promised to expand “electric tricycle routes in the municipality of Boyeros” and study a “similar system” for Guanabacoa, does not hide what they themselves have acknowledged: “Currently, Havana has the lowest technical readiness coefficient of the last ten years”, Granma cites, based on statements by First Deputy Minister of Transportation, Marta Oramas Rivero.

Until April, Havana Provincial Transport Company only had 442 vehicles in operation, reports the same official press, which transported more than 580,000 people daily, “a figure that is far from the 780 buses scheduled three years ago, with 20% in reserve”.

Last Friday, the governor of the province, Reinaldo García Zapata, stated that “the situation is critical”, since only 30% of the total fleet of transport buses is active.

The authorities did not refer to the fuel crisis that, for a few days, has shaken the country again. They did mention “the energy issue”, only to announce “saving measures in the non-residential sector to reduce consumption during peak hours”.

At any rate, Cubans are resigned, although they can no longer stand the analyzing. “It’s one lie after another with the problem of electricity,” complained a man on crutches, while waiting for a bus this Monday in Central Havana, to which another man replied: “If they stopped building hotels, they could improve the state of the National Electric System.”

Translated by Norma Whiting


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