Interurban transport: reversing a historic crisis

Interurban transport: reversing a historic crisis
Interurban transport: reversing a historic crisis

The intercity passenger transport service in the province of Córdoba carries a degree of unpredictability that not only puts its future at risk, but also leaves latent the possibility that in a handful of days what was signed in a meeting will remain a dead letter. negotiating table. It is the known result of a system that has been broken for years.

And the disruption for users is no small thing: every time the Aoita union and the drivers decide on a forceful measure, some 200,000 passengers are affected, according to the approximate figures for daily trips, especially by residents of Greater Córdoba.

They are the aftermath of a historic crisis that prevents thousands of people from mobilizing. But, ultimately, the provincial State and companies have the responsibility of guaranteeing this public right, so often violated.

Fortunately, there will always be gestures of common sense aimed at not further irritating users’ spirits. In this sense, this last Monday the union and the two chambers that bring together the companies in the sector reached a salary agreement for the coming months. Based on this, the union’s threat of an indefinite strike starting next week was void.

If nothing strange happens within the framework of the aforementioned unpredictability, a truce of at least 60 days is opened, which is still good news.

However, the agreement signed has as its central point the salary issue, which would not be feasible to honor without a new increase in rates, which have already totaled almost 200% in recent months.

The problem is that without State subsidies, benefits fall apart. The Minister of the Interior himself, Guillermo Francos, admitted days ago in Rosario that public transportation systems are not viable without the subsidy of “someone.” But he did not specify from whom, so he left the national government safe from that disbursement.

It is true: President Javier Milei, shortly after taking office, cut subsidies of all kinds. And there is nothing to predict that he will change his mind. On the contrary, the chainsaw threatens to leave even the most disadvantaged groups of the population penniless. And transportation occupies the first line.

The issue of intercity buses becomes more complex because the Government of Córdoba does not have much monetary margin, beyond taking charge of the payment of social tickets to companies.

If there is no money and intercity transportation is insolvent at bankruptcy levels, short-term policies will have to be devised that promote renewed strategies contemplating the sum of kilometers traveled by each unit, with the number of tickets cut per day. It is not about reducing frequencies but about promoting viable and less deficient alternatives. In short, reconvert an inoperative service.

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