Public service bus drivers protest against the freezing of fares decreed by the mayor of the municipality
On Tuesday morning (January 31), the inhabitants of Soacha had to leave the municipality on foot, due to the lack of public transport buses, because their drivers began an indefinite strike at dawn.
Traffic jam on the southern highway of Bogotá due to protests by taxi drivers in Soacha
The drivers’ tortoise plan has affected those who move on the southern highway. Likewise, they have delayed citizens who make use of the Transmilenio trunk line in the direction of Soacha-Bogotá
However, around 9:00 in the morning, the mayor tweeted on his official account: “we started a meeting with the Soacha transporters. Central issues: rates, state of the vehicles, quality of service, safety on the routes, scrapping of automobiles that have been used for more than 30 years and are in poor condition.
And around 10:00 it was announced that the municipal administration reached an agreement with the drivers’ union in which, officially, the cost of the ticket between Soacha and Bogotá will be $2,500 COP. A controversial lifeguard that, of course, causes discomfort among the public.
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His dissatisfaction was with a decree issued by the Soacha mayor’s office, last Friday, January 27, with which the transport fares between Bogotá and Soacha were frozen at $2,100 COP, and within the urban area at $1,300 COP.
The foregoing, as a result of complaints from users who assure that, as of January 1, they began to pay $2,500 COP; that is, 400 pesos more than the previous year. Said increase would have been agreed between transportation companies; however, the local administration never gave authorization for the prices to increase.
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But, what the inhabitants of Soacha consider an abuse on the part of the drivers, for them – they emphasize – is a necessity, due to the increase in the cost of the inputs they require to start their vehicles.
However, before the meeting, the mayor of Soacha, Juan Carlos Saldarriaga, pointed out that the increase approved by his administration is scheduled for March, when an adequate price can finally be determined, since in Bogotá the increase makes sense. because there is a new fleet of buses, but in Soacha, he added, they are still the same as 30 years ago, and they also provide a lousy service to their customers.
“They (the drivers) will not have to upload much because there we have some old buses, which have already had their depreciation due for their replacement, they have more than 20 years of service; The ministry has been delaying the issue of replacement, providing a terrible service to the city, generating traffic jams because they are stranded everywhere, ”he said in an interview for Blu Radio.
All this situation had people charging between $3,000 COP and $5,000 COP per passenger, to bring them in their private vehicle to San Mateo, but even they are not spared from the endless traffic jams caused by the protests on the South Highway with Carrera 66 –in the sense East West– or of the groups of people who, according to reports, were getting off passengers from buses bound for Bogotá
Despite his decision, in his last interview, Saldarriaga insisted that “the community does not have to pay more for a lousy service” and that drivers “cannot ask him to raise prices within a year.”
They, from the streets, responded that their veto is based on ignorance of the increase in the cost of the inputs they use, the differences between national and urban mobility, a study on which they have no information: “mentioning an alleged study that never gave knowing the transporters, did NOT take into account all the increases made and that affect us such as: bearings, parafiscal, maintenance salaries, extralegal and contractual policy ”, reference Caracol News.
24 hours earlier, taxi drivers decided to launch a turtle plan, also in Soacha, blocking the South Highway for hours, which, since the early morning of the last day of January, had been affected by public service buses.
According to the taxi drivers, they wanted to make their position against informality public. “We get tired of insecurity and piracy. We have a colleague in a coma in the cardiovascular room and another with a machete. Piracy also has us in check,” said one of the protesters, for a local newspaper.
All this, a few days after the Minister of Transportation, Guillermo Reyes, files, before the Congress of the Republic, a bill that seeks to increase sanctions against drivers of private vehicles that provide transportation services. through platforms such as Uber, Didi and InDriver.
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