Public Transport Switches to
Direct Service for Essential Workers
In view of the logical concerns and worries in the population, caused by the paralysis of public transport in the country, Eduardo Rodriguez Davila, Minister of Transport (Mitrans), stressed the importance of understanding, support and discipline towards these provisions, in view of the progress of the new coronavirus
Author: Susana Antón | firstname.lastname@example.org
April 13, 2020 21:04:09
Translated and edited by Merriam Ansara.
Edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Responding to the logical questions and concern of the population over the suspension of public transportation in the country, the Minister of Transport, Eduardo Rodriuez Davila, remarked how important it is for people to understand, support and uphold these measures as necessary in the face of advancing COVID-19.
He explained to Granma, that the suspension does not for the moment include state vehicles that are used to ensure the functioning of the economy, nor privately owned personal vehicles which can circulate as needed, so long as they also are not creating traffic jams.
There is still also the movement of cargo, he said, as necessary to support the economy.
He confirmed that the mandatory suspension imposed Saturday, April 11, includes all public transportation both urban and inter-urban, includes both state and privately owned, and includes the support services for state vehicles.
Instead, transportation services have been organized for workers in the medical and health centers, commerce -related services, policing services and others defined by the Defense Councils (Civil Defense) throughout the country as essential activities.
He added that these are for specific workers at specific hours so that they can go and return from their places of work.
He said also that transportation has been guaranteed for all dialysis patients, people undergoing cancer treatments and in other situations of medical urgency. Information telephone lines have been set up at the main health centers in each municipality.
For these services as well, transportation reinforcements have been provided to all of the local defense councils, including ambulances and medi-buses.
He said that all transportation drivers concerned about the situation of their salaries should check with their own work centers which have been put in charge of administering the benefit directives of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
In terms of self-employed transporattion workers, Rodriguez Davila said that the current suspension of service applies for the moment to passenger and cargo transportation (including bici-taxis and buggies), and services related to these such as driving instructors and taxi stand managers.
The suspension applies to the operation of vehicles and does not include suspension of related activities such as vehicle repair, bodywork, or tire repair. These can continue so long as it does not lead to any gatherings of multiple individuals and that those involved observe the prescribed infection protection measures.
He said that for any further clarification or needs, workers in these services should direct themselves to the offices from which they have received their licenses.
The MINTRANS minister said he realized that there have had to be huge adjustments from the public transportation of passengers to transportation for designated workers.
All of these newly adjusted services have had to be carried out with strict adherence to measures of zero crowding, everyone wearing facemask, ensuring use of hypochlorite for hands before boarding and complete disinfection of the vehicles after each run.
Each day there will need to be adjustments to improve the new services and to avoid any adverse effects to essential services. He said that instructions had been given to all of the provinces to improve organization of the routes, schedule frequency and other elements that would ensure maximum efficiency of service and conservation of fuel.
He said that MINTRANS was also working with all of the main entities of the central government administration, the defense councils and the state enterprises involved in operation of port-to -transportation to economic distribution so as to guarantee timely distribution of the family ration basket of regular guaranteed goods and other measures to ensure the delivery of food and other basic products to the community.
He remarked that yesterday, Monday, because of the possibity of propagaiion of COVID-19, the Business Group for Automotive Transport Services had decided to close the Schools for Road and Driving Education to avoid gatherings of multiple individuals and had issued an announcement to this effect.
He announced that the deadlines for certificates, license renewals and psychological/physical driver exams for those whose documents were expiring had been extended until services were restarted in the related centers and offices.
Anyone who had already paid for the service at the time of the service suspension, who didn’t wish to continue the service could ask for 100% reimbursement of the amount paid.