The Tramways of Havana ( part 2 1928 – 1952 )

TramHAVANA, 2 June ( by Allen Morrison)  Havana Electric Railway built no more streetcars or streetcar lines after 1925. The Cuban government would not allow it to raise its fare, which had remained at 5 cents since 1901. Buses and jitneys, unrestricted by the city, followed HER’s routes and stole its passengers. A nationwide strike in 1933 shut down all public services in Cuba. When Havana trams began running again on August 14, passenger loads were heavy .
Tram IRail ridership declined from 140 million passengers in 1929 to 69 million in 1935. The “elevated” structure along the harbor ( see map) was dismantled in 1940.
Tram Map 2 The situation reversed briefly during the Second World War. Oil and tires were rationed and the buses almost disappeared. Streetcar ridership increased once more and even surpassed previous levels: 146 million passengers in 1945!
Tram B Tram CIn 1949 HER announced that it had acquired 44 trolleybuses secondhand from Newark, New Jersey, to replace its aging trams. The transition would be easy, for the streetcar lines already had double wires. A few trolleybuses began testing on 8 September 1949, but never entered revenue service. Some were rebuilt and ran with gasoline motors. But it was no use.
Tram GHER declared bankruptcy and was purchased by Autobuses Modernos S.A. on 23 June 1950. Autobuses Modernos ran Havana’s last streetcar, on 29 April 1952.Tram H Almost a century of rail transport came to an end. Several of the better vehicles were sold (donated?) to the tramway company in Matanzas, where they ran another two years. In 2001 a Russian group planned a trolleybus system in Havana which, if built, would have exactly duplicated the city’s horsecar system of 1862.