Cuenca transportation officials have abandoned the plan to charge the same fare for both city buses and the tram.
Municipal councilman Marco Andrés Ávila said Monday morning that tram fare will be between 35 cents and 41 cents. “We haven’t decided on the final amount but it will be within that range,” he said on Cuenca television station Telerama.
Ávila’s comments are the first official word that the fare for buses and the train will not be the same. Since 2011, when former mayor Paúl Granda announced plans for the tram, officials have maintained that an “integrated” transportation system of buses and the tram would operate under one fare. At the time, Granda said it would be 25 cents.
Granda, who is now the minister for public works in President Lenin Moreno’s cabinet, was in town last week working with Mayor Marcelo Cabrero on tram financing plans.
In September, the municipal council raised the bus fare from 25 cents to 30 cents but Ávila said 30 cents would not be sufficient to operate the tram. The new bus fare has yet to go into effect, pending the resolution of a conflict between bus owners and the council about which model of buses will replace the current fleet.
During his interview on Telerama, Ávila said the project management contract with the French consortium that will finish tram construction will be signed within 10 days.