Cuenca bus fare to increase July 25
Bus fare will increase to 30 cents from the current 25 cents on July 25 if bus operators agree to 30 conditions set by the Cuenca municipal council. In addition to the five-cent increase, the city will contribute an additional penny per fare to help with operating expenses. Among the council’s conditions are a provision that most of the buses be replaced during a 21-month period after an agreement is signed, that buses comply with new pollution standards and that each bus operate with two drivers on its daily route instead of one. According to the Cuenca Chamber of Transport, which represents bus owners, the schedule for fleet renewal means that 25 new buses will go into service each month to meet the deadline.
National Assembly rejects Maduro and Morales comments
Ecuador’s National Assembly is backing President Lenin Moreno in his recent dispute with Venezuelan and Bolivian presidents Nicolás Maduro and Evo Morales. Maduro and Morales criticized Ecuador’s justice system last week for issuing an arrest warrant for former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa. In a 85 to 21 vote, the assembly rejected the “unwelcomed interference” from the two presidents for “trying to exert pressure to damage the principle of sovereignty by which the Ecuador is governed.” The 21 no votes came from Correa supporters who claim that the former president is being persecuted for his leftist views.
President in Cuenca for highway dedication, meetings
President Lenin Moreno arrives in Cuenca today to meet with city and provincial officials as well as groups of citizens, and to attend several events. Tomorrow, he will attend the inauguration of the Cuenca-Azogues highway (E-35) and meet with residents who live near the Chinese operated Río Blanco gold mine, west of Cuenca. The 42-kilometer expressway between the two provincial capitals, began construction in late 2013 and cost $104 million to complete. Moreno will also hold his monthly traveling cabinet meeting in Cuenca.
Project aims to reduce pigeon population in Centro
Cuenca’s environmental protection commission is beginning a six-month project to reduce the number of pigeons in the city’s historic district. The commission says that the pigeon population has increased rapidly in recent years and that it represents a health hazard in several parks. In addition, it says that pigeon nests and excrement have caused damage to a number of historic buildings. According to officials, a contractor has been chosen to place pigeon traps around the district and relocate the captured birds to areas outside of town.