CUENCA DIGESTPreparations continue for Cuenca´s light rail network

Feb 17, 2012

Geologic tests continue in preparation of construction of Cuenca´s Cuatro Rios Tram system, expected to begin in less than a year.

The first phase of the light rail project will include 14 kilometers of track with routes parralling Av. Espania, Tres de Noviembre and Av. Las Americas, and in the historic district, Calles Gran Colombia and Mariscal Lamar.

Soil tests are being conducted by the Spanish contractor, Basque Railway Network, to determine foundation requirements along the route. The tests are the last before construction begins. Basque has carried out other tests and studies since 2009.

According to Carla Hermida, Cuenca Secretary of Transportation, the light rail system will be similar to those in a number of European cities.

ECUADOR POVERTY RATE DECLINES 9% SINCE 2006

The poverty rate in Ecuador fell to 28.6% last year, compared with 32.8% for 2010, Ecuador Planning and Development Secretary Fander Falconi said.

In a press conference Feb 7, Falconi said that between December 2006 and December 2011 the poverty in the Andean country has declined by about 9 percentage points.

Meanwhile, the Gini coefficient, an indicator that measures inequality, has declined from 0.54% in 2006 to 0.47% last year, according to official figures.

NEW CUENCA AIRLINE COULD BE IN THE AIR BY APRIL

The owners of Cuencana Airlines, or LAC, say they expect to be flying in late March or April. Luis Miguel, Carlos Torres and Victor Hugo, have purchased three aircraft, a Canadian Bombardier CRJ700 and two Brazilian Embraer 145s, which have capacities of up to 70 passengers.

“We want to give Cuenca a flagship airline again,” says Miguel. Air Cuenca, which operated between Cuenca, Quito and Guayaquil, ended its operations in early 2011 and filed for backruptcy.

In addition to offering flights to Quito and Guayaquil, Cuencana Air hopes to offer service to Manta, Salinas, Machala, Loja, Macas, Lago Agrio, Coca, and Esmeraldas. “These routes need to be covered and it is our intention to cover them,” says Miguel. He adds that the new airline is also exploring international routes between Cuenca and Peru.

COLOMBIANS TOP ECUADOR TOURISM LIST FOR 2011

Ecuador´s Ministry of Tourism that Colombians edged out citizens of the United States as the most frequent visitors in 2011. The ministry reports that 235, 515 Colombian tourists visited Ecuador compared to 215,979 Estadounidenses. 

Other top tourist producing countries include Peru, Spain, Argentina, Venezuela, Chile, Germany, Cuba, Canada, Great Britain, France and Mexico.

The ministry said that 60% of foreigners entered Ecuador through the airports in Quito and the port of Guayaquil while the rest crossed the borders with Colombia and Peru. 

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