Tram makes first trip through El Centro today
For the first time, a five-car unit of Cuenca’s Tranvia de los Cuatro Rios will roll through the historic this morning to Av. Huayna Capac. City tram project director Jaime Guzmán says the test, scheduled to begin at 6 a,m., proves that project is on schedule. The test will use both west- and east-bound routes, on Calles Gran Colombia and Mariscal Lamar, traveling at about 10 kilometers per hour. “We set the date for this run more than six months ago and it is a significant milestone in our progress.” The tram has made partial trips through the historic district since last week with no major problems, Guzmán says.
Bus fare and new rules go into effect August 1
Buses in Cuenca’s municipal transport system will begin charging 30 cents August 1, the city announced earlier this week. The fare increase was approved last year but was put on hold as negotiations between bus company owners and the city continued. Besides the five-cent price hike, the city has agreed to contribute an addition penny per ride to bus owners. In addition to the new fare, 30 system-wide conditions go into effect August 1, including requirements that: all 475 buses in the fleet be replaced with 21 months; that all daily routes have two drivers instead of the current one; that all drivers attend a 20-hour training course, and; that new buses operate under new “opacity” or pollution limits. According to the city transportation office, pollution from bus fumes will be reduced by 75 percent once all buses are replaced.
Prosecutor interviews 15 former officials in Gabela murder
Federal prosecutors have concluded their interviews with 15 former ministers and secretaries in the investigation of the murder of former Air Force commander General Jorge Gabela. Gabela’s 2010 murder was ruled a “crime committed by common criminals” by a commission that included most of the 15. Recent evidence suggests that he was murdered for his opposition to the purchase of Indian helicopters. A report by an outside investigator that disputed the “common criminal” murder conclusion was distributed to officials, including former president Rafael Correa, but has since disappeared from federal records.