Cuenca city council begins debate on bus fare increase with Quito transit strike on its mind

Aug 27, 2017 | 0 comments

With the Quito public bus strike looming in the background, the Cuenca municipal council begins debate this week on raising fares on the city’s bus system.

Bus fares have been 25 cents for 14 years. (El Tiempo)

The Quito strike was called after the city council refused to raise bus fares from the current 25 cents to 30 cents on Thursday. The council voted to send the issue back to committee for further study. Angry bus company owners and drivers stormed out the meeting and began a work stoppage that has paralyzed the city.

In both Quito and Cuenca, owners and drivers claim that the 25 cents fare, adopted in 2002, is insufficient to operate the system.

“We have been talking about fares for years and the time for talk is long past,” says Leonardo Albarracín, president of the Cuenca Transportation Chamber president, which represents the bus owners. “Our buses are in poor condition and drivers are not paid a good salary with the current fare. We see what happened in Quito and would hate to see it in Cuenca,” he added.

On the other hand, Cuenca councilman Carlos Orellana argues that the process should move slowly to assure that “all voices” affected by a fare increase are heard. “This is not a race against time,” he says. “We need discussions so we can come to a consensus on the issue.”

A group of consultants from the University of Cuenca, contracted by the city, offered three fare increase options in April — 26, 32, and 33 cents, saying that a 32 or 33 cent fare is necessary to update the rolling stock and improve driver salaries.

Organizations representing students and the elderly are lobbying for no rate increase, saying members of their groups cannot afford it. Both the city and the transportation chamber agree that bus companies would require a large public subsidy if rates remain 25 cents.


Expat Community News

Dani News

Google ad


135,000 w realtor, 130,000 w/out realtor

Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms: 2

The Cuenca Dispatch

Week of February 25

Cuenca Finally Gets to Experience Van Gogh Like Never Before.

Read more

Ecuador lost just over a million hectares of forest formations in 38 years.

Read more

Drone Plants 1,500 Trees in 15 Minutes to Combat Deforestation.

Read more

Gypsy News


Hogar Esperanza News

Google ad

Veronica Arpi News

Fund Grace News

Subscribe to our newsletter

Cuenca High Life offers on-line publications, local translated news, and reports about the expat life and living in Ecuador. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!