“The peace is over,” was the reason stated by Christian López, when asked about his dissatisfaction with the presence of the buses. The man, resident in the municipality of Santo Domingo Este, understands that these only hinder traffic and that it is not yet necessary, in his opinion, that they return to the arena.
To get to his work, López has to circulate through the intersection of San Vicente de Paul avenues and Mella Highway, which, due to the large circulation of buses and minibuses, makes this section one of the most chaotic to transport most of the day.
“I already saw that I am going to have to start going out at the same time as before so that I do not have to pick up on these guys. Without them, this stopper that is assembled here almost did not feel, the peace is over here, “said López just after having a small discussion with one of the drivers.
At the other extreme is the opinion of Esther Báez who is relieved that the buses and minibuses return to circulate with some frequency.
“I have to take almost an hour to find a car and pay two tickets to move from the subway to my house, with the guagüitas I can transport myself easier, less time and I spend fewer tickets,” exclaims Báez.
Yesterday, Phase II of the de-escalation announced by the Government came into effect, where it was allowed to return to circulation of the private sector buses and micro-buses, after the unemployment for more than two months due to the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.
Complaints for increased fares
Several users denounced yesterday that the tickets increased between 5 and 10 pesos without having previously announced it.
Erika Mota, a user of public transport, says that she must board three cars to get to her workplace and that with the increase in tickets, the salary she earns is not enough for her.
The young woman, who works in a family home, says that from Los Alcarrizos until 9 de la Duarte she pays RD $ 50 and from kilometer 13 to Pinturas she pays RD $ 35, and from there to Doctor Defilló avenue RD $ 40, and up to Duarte charge RD $ 50 pesos, which is affecting his economy, because he spends RD $ 250 per day.
“I spend more on passage than I earn,” he says regretfully.
Users have complained to drivers about the increase in passage, but they allege that if they want to ride fewer passengers, they must be paid for empty seats.
Ariel Encarnacion, a driver on route 9 of the Duarte Highway, said that now they will have fewer passengers due to the incorporation of flying buses in this new phase and that passages have not increased. “Today has not gone very well for me, because everything has started to operate normally, we have to ride fewer passengers,” he said.
Large accumulation of vehicles and several citizens from their cars shouting insults when one of the drivers crossed from one lane to the other, was the welcome given by the municipality of Santo Domingo Este.
The minibuses that serve as feeder routes and are parked around the Concepción Bona station of the Santo Domingo Metro, prostrated there for the first time in months.
The bus routes such as 11, San Luis, Corredor Mella, 99, among others, circulated not to the maximum of their capacity, all with masks and one passed around the station every 8 minutes.
The drivers of the National Transport Confederation (Conatra) were the only ones who did not integrate into this second phase of the economic de-escalation due to the coronavirus, because they allege that they would not generate sufficient income to cover the fuel.
Angélica Martínez Ortega, a transportation technician at the National Institute of Transit and Land Transportation (Intrant) said that cars and buses must operate at 60 percent of their capacity taking into account that the 51-passenger buses will carry a maximum of 32 people. Meanwhile, 30-passenger minibuses will carry a maximum of 18. And 15-passenger minibuses will carry a maximum of nine. In all cases the driver is included.
Another of the measures that must be complied with is the installation of sanitizing gel and soap in the bathrooms at the terminals, for hand washing.
During a tour carried out by reporters from LISTÍN DIARIO at the stops at kilometer 9 of the Duarte highway, the carriers complied with the distancing measures imposed by the Intrant.
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