Cuenca traffic police are warning drivers to stay out of specially designated bus lanes in El Centro. Bus lanes are located on Calles Juan Jaramillo, President Córdova, Sangurima and Muñoz Vega, and plans are in the works to add them to other streets, including Gil Ramirez Davalos and Av. Las Americas.
Police acknowledge that following bus lane rules is difficult for many drivers since enforcement in the past as been lax.
“We realize that this will take some time to adapt to since drivers are in the habit of using bus lanes,” says Dario Tapia, manager of Cuenca’s Office of Municipal Mobility. “But this is part of our new bus transportation system and we have to enforce the law.”
Tapia says that tigher controls began last week and his office has assigned 40 traffic police to make sure bus lanes are reserved for buses.
Both private and taxi drivers have complained to Tapia’s office about the change. “Most of the time the bus lanes are empty and the rest of us are sitting in traffic jams,” says taxi driver Jaime Mendieta. “Maybe it makes things faster for buses but everyone else suffers.”