During his weekend visit to Cuenca and Giron, President Rafael Correa said there would be no additional funding for Cuenca’s tram system, currently under construction. Mayor Marcelo Cabrera had asked Correa for $17.8 million for parking facilities, additional overtime work hours, and upgrades to tram lanes in the historic district, among other upgrades.
Correa also rejected Cabrera’s request for $600 million to construct a freeway around the city, saying the project was a campaign promise that the mayor had made without coordination from the government.
Cabrera had hoped the president would reconsider the position of Minister of Transportation Paola Carvajal who last week said that there was no justification for the tram request. “All funding from the federal government for the project has been provided,” Correa said. “The city will need to find the money if it wants to add more facilities,” he said.
Correa also said that under current budget constraints, he could not justify funding the freeway, a long-time goal of Cabrera. “There are many priority projects across the country that are more urgent than this one,” he said. “We cannot allocate $600 million to a road in Cuenca until other needs are met,” he said.