The University of Cuenca recommendation for a higher city bus fare should be delivered to the Cuenca transportation department (EMOV) by the end of April, study leaders say.
Bus companies have been demanding that the city of Cuenca allow a fare increase for years and say they are unable to upgrade the aging fleet of 475 units until it happens. The current 25-cent fare was established in 2003 and, although the city provides subsidies, owners say it’s not enough to cover costs.
Owners are asking for a fare of 35 to 40 cents. Organizations representing university students and the elderly have protested, saying the fare should remain at 25 cents
Once the city receives the recommendation for a new fare, EMOV must compare it with cost studies for operation of the tram, since the fare will be the same for both buses and tram. Adrián Castro, deputy manager of EMOV, says this process could take several weeks. “Our review has to be exhaustive since the fare must work for both the tram and bus systems,” he says.
Several members of the municipal council say a single fare is not realistic due to what they say will be much higher operational costs for the tram.