Public transportation crisis in Havana: Less than half of the equipment works

“Today we have big problems acquiring parts. For the first time since 2011 we have more than half of the cars paralyzed (463)," explained an official from the Havana Provincial Transportation Company.

Ómnibus sin ruedas en paradero en La Habana / Isabela R © Grupo de Facebook Choferes de Ómnibus por Siempre
Bus without wheels at the bus stop in Havana / Isabela R Photo © Bus Drivers Forever Facebook Group

This article is from 2 years ago

Of the 881 teams that the Provincial Transportation Company of Havana has, only 418 - on average - offer services to the population at this time, due to their low technical availability;reported this Monday the official portal Cubadebate.

Luis Orlando Hernández Pacheco, deputy director of operations of the Provincial Transportation Company of Havana, specified that with these 418 vehicles, it is only possible to transport about 514,727 people and make around 4,790 trips, at the established times: from 4:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. of the next day.

“At this time no route is without service. What happens is that due to low technical availability there are routes that only have a single bus. In this condition there are 46 routes in the city,” he specified.

Both the feeder routes (A), and those made up of articulated buses (P), which constitute the main line, are currentlywell below real demand. To offer adequate service and achieve technical availability of more than 95 percent, more than 700 cars would be needed.

“The capital had it when the large investments were made, but the impact of the blockade, the pandemic and the complex economic situation has had an unfavorable impact,” declared Hernández Pacheco.

Between 2015 and 2018, the company managed to ensure that, of its 881 teams, 720 provided services in the city. "1,100,000 passengers were transported every working day with the company's cars," said Jorge Luis León Linares, Technical Deputy Director - Logistics of the Provincial Transportation Company of Havana.

"In addition, with the support of other organizations, 1,250,000 passengers were reached, the highest number we have reached in recent years," added the official.

However, he acknowledged that even then "the problems in passenger transportation were not resolved because the demand was greater than the possibility of providing the service."

“In 2018 the first problem came with the energy crisis, and even though we had buses, there was no fuel. Only 20,000 liters of fuel were available, when in Havana they used to work with about 90,000 liters a day,” explained León Linares.

The sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump and the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020further aggravated this situation; This caused the 720 available buses to gradually drop to 418. And on January 19 of this year, for example, only 394 circulated.

“Today we have big problems acquiring parts. For the first time since 2011 we have more than half of the cars paralyzed (463)", he indicated.

Among the teams that are on strike, 100 are due to engines, another 30 are due to tires and batteries, and more than 300 are due to parts and aggregates. "There are another 18 cars stopped by the gearbox. We also have major problems due to the brake pads," he revealed.

León Linares highlighted that, among the 881 teams, the Regla boats are included, which were paralyzed during the first stage of the pandemic. "Today three are working with a stable service and the other three are being repaired with other organizations," he said.

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