Public transportation in Cuba has less than half as many passengers as it did five years ago

Public transportation in Cuba transports less than half as many passengers as it did five years ago

HAVANA, Apr 20. The public passenger service in Cuba currently transports less than 50% of the travelers it did five years ago, the minister of the sector, Eduardo Rodríguez Dávila, reported on Thursday.Dávila acknowledged during a special program published on social networks and hosted by President Miguel Díaz-Canel that the scenario is very serious in the passenger area and also in the cargo area.

“We have a difficult situation. If we talk about passenger transportation, which is what directly affects the population, we are in one of the worst moments in recent years,” said Dávila. “Five years ago in Cuba, about 5.8 or 5.9 million passengers were transported daily and today 2.7 million are being transported,” he added.

The official admitted that half of the state routes “have instability”, a part of the buses have technical problems due to lack of parts and spare parts and another does not have fuel to move.

Regarding cargo transportation, “half” is also operated than it was two or three years ago, the minister said.

The crisis in the sector is compounded by the lack of food and medicine, the intermittency in the supply of fuel and blackouts.

The interruptions of electrical service for long hours in January and February caused demonstrations in several cities in the east of the country, but none were as numerous and widespread as those in July 2021.

Cuba’s Gross Domestic Product fell 11% in 2020, grew just 1.3% in 2021 and 2% in 2022 to fall again by 2% last year.

The crisis is the product of a combined effect of the paralysis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, from which the island has not managed to recover, and the United States sanctions that seek to suffocate the economy to pressure a change in the political model. Added to this was a financial reform and monetary unification imposed in 2021 that unleashed inflation and liquefied salaries.

Both the Minister of Transportation and the president indicated that they are working on programs to implement electric buses and tricycles that do not depend on fuel, which the island lacks.

On the streets, it is common to see long lines at bus stops and there are constant complaints from the population about the price of the private cars that they are forced to use.