Covid cases force more flight cancellations; Tram-bus integration due by mid-year; Students and teachers reunite; Restaurants will need health certificates
Hola, Todos –
Se reencuentran alumnos y maestros (Students and teachers meet again) – Yesterday, rural students in the whole country went back to face-to-face classes in all grades. In urban zones, the return to classes was obligatory for Bachillerato (high school) and Básica Superior (I think, older primary students). At one school, before the return to classes, parents held mingas to get the bathrooms ready for their kids. At another, kids came to school accompanied by their dogs who waited outside while the kids arranged the furniture in the classroom. <I don´t think the janitors’ unions would allow parents and kids to do that in the US.>
Alerta por pronóstico de lluvias (Rain forecast alert) – The Instituto Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (INAMHI) forecast cloudy skies and rain in Cuenca for this week and the majority of the cantons in Azuay. It also forecast temperatures between 12° and 22° C. and moderate to high UV index between 5 & 7. Values over 8 are considered dangerous. The most intense rains will be in the areas bordering Guayas.
Cancelan vuelos a Cuenca (Flights to Cuenca cancelled) – LATAM Airlines again suspended flights this week between Cuenca and Quito. Yesterday departing flights LA 1400 & 1402 and arriving flights LA 1401 & 1403 were cancelled. The CORPAC webpage showed departing flt. 1402 and arriving flt. 1403 were cancelled today, and on el miércoles, departing flights LA 1400 & 1402 and arriving flights LA 1401 & 1403 are cancelled. El viernes departing flt. LA 1398 and arriving flt. LA 1399 are cancelled, and el sábado, departing flt. LA 1402 and arriving flt. 1403 are cancelled. LATAM had previously announced cancellations and rescheduling of flights due to the advance of the ómicron variant. As with the rest of the air industry, the high number of infections has affected LATAM’s flight crews so that between 5-10% of its flights need to be cancelled.
Calificación sanitaria (Health qualification) – ARCSA has implemented the new Tarjeta de Calificación Sanitaria (Sanitary Qualification Card) for establishments making food to serve to the public or those making prepared foods. The cards are good from one year from the time they were issued, and restaurants and cafeterias need to show it on the outside of the business. <Would you be scared to eat or buy from an establishment without a health card on display? Just curious.>
“Integración hasta mediados de año” (“Integration until mid-year”) – Jorge Moscoso, director of the Tranvía de Cuenca was interviewed about the integration of tram and bus services. He was asked how the integration of the systems was progressing and said that since the tram started operating in 9/2019, it has moved 5,000,000 people. The last studies indicated the tram should be the spine of a system and fed by lines that pass through the city and cross the spine. This was not done by previous administrations.
Mayor Palacios has a timetable for a gradual integration starting with the Baños-Ricuarte trunk the first quarter. From there, a reconstruction of the lines will follow so there won’t be competition with the tram or other bus lines. When asked if there had been dialogues or agreements with the bus lines to start this schedule, he said he couldn’t talk about agreements, but that the plans need to be executed to obtain an economic equilibrium and sustainability for the tram. The reporter asked when the integration would reach 100% and the short answer was by the 2nd quarter. The long answer drifted into ridership numbers and income vs. costs. When asked about the openness of the transportistas and if they had been talked to, the answer was no, but if they get a 4 cent subsidy which will help them reach economic equilibrium, he is sure there will be an agreement.
The answer to how the technical integration regarding a common transit card was going, was that the Tranvía and CTC (Cámara de Transporte de Cuenca) have two different, incompatible systems and there needs to be only one, which a single use card. <Does that sound like progress to you?>
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –