Authorities recognize a crisis in Cubas Transport sector

Cubans brace for impact as gasoline prices set to soar

HAVANA, December 20. This week, authorities from the Cuban Ministry of Transportation recognized that in recent years the capacity
of passenger transportation in 100 percent of the modalities and services.

This problem “affects all activities and sectors of the social and economic life of the nation,” they admitted in a report presented to the Commission for Attention to Services of the National Assembly of People’s Power.

In the report they cite “effects in the technical availability of the means of transport, the instability in the supply of fuels and lubricants, the accumulated deterioration of the infrastructure and the conditions in which the workers work”, as part of the problems that afflict transportation services.

“The most complex situation is found in the services provided at the local and territorial level, which provide almost 80 percent of the national balance figures and are those that the population uses daily to resolve their movement needs,” said the responsible for that sector, suggesting as one of the solutions “creating more road services with electric tricycles”, like those used in Havana.

Precisely from the Cuban capital, several interviewed by Martí Noticias confirm a worsening of the situation of public transportation, which is reflected in the crowded stops and the increase in the price of private transportation.

“The day before, I left and had to turn back, because of the way the stops were. It took me an hour and nothing. The transportation was chaotic,” said Lucinda González, who lives in the La Lisa municipality.

The activist assured that the metro taxi service, GAZelle, known as “gazelles” or “ruteritos”, is also affected. These taxis have the capacity to transport up to thirteen seated passengers and connect various points in the capital with around twenty routes.

“There are stops crowded with people, fundamentally at peak times, fundamentally, when people go to work and return from work,” said independent journalist Vladimir Turró, also from the Cuban capital.

Authorities recognize a crisis in Cubas Transport sector

A taxi driver who did not want to be identified fills his gas tank in Havana, Cuba, on December 11, 2023. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

According to Turró, the lack of oil in the country is affecting both the state and private sectors: “We are talking about queues of almost ten blocks to be able to buy fuel, when there is one. We are talking about gasoline, but in the case of diesel, you can’t even buy it in Cupets.”

The journalist drew attention to the fact that so far no official information has been given about the impact.

“Well, they seldom do it and now they haven’t done it either. Official information does not exist,” lamented the communicator.

From the Arimao bus terminal, in the La Lisa municipality, an employee confirmed to Martí Noticias that the lack of fuel is having a direct impact on the transportation crisis.

“The fundamental cause that we are presenting in these problems, the cause is oil. If there is no oil, the cars cannot go out to work,” commented the source, adding that another of the factors that paralyzes the departure of buses is the lack of parts. spare.

María Elena Mir Marrero, who lives in Guanabo, a coastal town located east of Havana, stated that in the town’s terminal, rated as one of the best in the country, some routes have decreased their frequency.

“On Thursday we started this situation without prior notice to the population. This also makes rental cars more expensive,” she revealed.

“Plain and simple, it is a political problem because they fear a social explosion. By removing transportation, they eliminate people’s mobility,” said the opponent.

In November, the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH) showed images of passengers in Las Tunas, facing “chaos and desperation to move from one place to another.”

More recently, the OCDH reported that in Santiago de Cuba the transportation situation is critical.

“In bus terminals, people sleep for up to 5 days to buy a ticket to other provinces and queues and discussions are common,” the organization said in a video released on social networks that shows the desperation of passengers to travel.