Why are urban transport drivers “deserting”?

Why are urban transport drivers "deserting"? HAVANA, Mar 25 (Pablo González) The official media recently recognized the scarcity of urban transport that exists in the capital.

“The current problem is not the lack of buses, as you might think, but the unusual departure of drivers,” said Juan Julián Caballero Martínez, general director of the Provincial Transport Company of Havana to digital media such as Cubadebate and Granma.

Although the Government recognizes the massive exodus of this state sector, it does not give reasons for the sudden abandonment of these professionals and points out that the fact “deserves a more in-depth investigation.”

A team from CubaNet interviewed several bus drivers operating on urban transport routes in the Cuban capital.

Alberto Díaz, who has been a driver of several tours for more than ten years, wants to leave his post since he was informed of the new indications regarding the number of trips and collection to be delivered.

“The work got bad and it’s going to get worse. We will control the trips with more rigor and will increase the amount we have to deliver. Now I have to collect 600 pesos every day in three trips and I’ll keep what’s left over, but in a little while they’ll reduce trips to two and I’ll have to deposit more than 800 pesos. Already in some terminals have applied the new procedure, that’s why people are defecting, “he explains.

When asked about his monthly salary, he replies that “it is not enough to live, not even the first five days of the month”.

In order to compensate for the lack of drivers, the Provincial Transport Company (EPT) intends to incorporate personnel from other provinces, from Matanzas to Guantánamo.

According to official data, the deficit of the head office in Havana is 86 drivers, but the problem has spread throughout the capital.

“Urban transport is critical. Every day is an odyssey to get to work on time. Mainly in the morning. The bosses demand punctuality; But of course, they all have state cars and do not need transport, “said Gisela González, an economics worker in the state sector.

Caballero Martínez also told the official media that with the arrival of drivers from other provinces “the situation in the terminals with the most damage caused by this cause will be alleviated: Alamar, San Agustín, Guanabacoa and Diezmero, and will allow an increase in 500 trips and 700,000 passengers transported. “

Another driver who did not want to be identified for fear of being sanctioned explained that the terminals will become cooperatives: “One of the changes will include depositing around 800 pesos at the beginning of the month.

If we stop reaching the daily quota, they will deduct us from that money. Also, they want to put us GPS to have more control over us. If they start monitoring us, nobody will want to work because the ‘fight’ is over, “he said, referring to the way to obtain benefits through illegal means.