Cuenca’s new bus system is causing widespread confusion among city commuters.
Called integrated transport by the city’s transportation office, the new system is based around two transfer stations where passengers can change buses at no additional cost. The city says that when the system is fully functional, it will reduce travel time and the total distance covered by buses. It will also take about 80 buses off historic district streets.
On Monday and Tuesday, hundreds of passengers complained of long waits at bus stops and some said their buses did come at all. Some were apparently unaware of bus route changes. Because of the delays, public schools were forced to give passes to late-arriving students.
Boris Palacios, director of municipal transit, said that will be adjustment problems with the new system for both passengers and bus drivers. “Many passengers did not pay attention to our public information campaign about new routes and some weren’t aware of the changes at all,” he said. “Once everyone knows about the new transfer system and new routes, they will understand that this approach is more efficient than the old one. One of our objectives is to reduce air pollution in the city center and people will appreciate this too.
Palacio said that passengers can see the new bus route map in several locations around town, including at the new transfer terminals at Feria Libre on Av. Las Americas or at Terminal Terrestre on Av. España. He added that the transportation office has sent out agents to the busier bus stops to explain changes and hand out brochures.
Photo caption: New bus transfer station on Av. Las Americas.