Cuba sees bicycles as partial answer to transport woes
Cuba,Business/Economy, Tue, 02 Jul 2013IANS
Havana, July 2 (IANS/EFE) The Cuban government plans to reintroduce
bicycles as a way to alleviate public transport problems, Vice President
Marino Murillo said in comments cited Monday in the official media.
Murillo, the head of the committee to implement the economic reforms put
in place by the government of President Raul Castro, said during last
Friday’s Cabinet meeting that one way to promote cycling would be to
provide bicycle replacement parts at a discount.
Bicycles began appearing en masse on Cuban streets in the 1990s, and
particularly in Havana it became an alternative way to deal with the
acute transportation crisis caused by the drastic reduction in energy
supplies from the old Soviet Union.
In 1991, 30,000 people were using bicycles in the Cuban capital, but by
1999 more than 700,000 Havana residents were moving around the city on
Murillo discussed reintroducing bicycles when he presented a plan to
restructure public transport in Havana, a situation he said had been
“unstable, insufficient and of low quality” for years.
In his analysis of the sector, he acknowledged the existence of
fare-dodging by passengers and “stealing the (fares) collected with
impunity” by some transit employees.
The vice president said that the basic bus and railroad transport
services will be maintained under the current state-run system.
He also announced measures to improve transportation, including
introducing a new system for paying workers and officials, adding that a
system of incentives including bonuses, tax exemptions and even
subsidies will be designed to avoid increases in transit fares.
Source: “Cuba sees bicycles as partial answer to transport woes” –