What is discouraging the use of the bus in Neiva? • The nation

The Urban Transportation Survey carried out by Dane shows that in Neiva the passenger flow continues to reduce and is lower than the pre-pandemic figure. Community spokespersons and councilors explain the reasons behind the drop in the use of this means of public transport and its consequences.



During the first quarter of the current year, the flow of passengers using the collective public transportation service in Neiva continued to reduce: according to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (Dane), the drop was -4.9%.

In total, passengers who traveled by bus/minibus/collective amounted to just over 3.1 million (3,154,616), but during the same period last year more than 3.3 million (3,315,674) had been recorded. ).

The figure is even lower than the data recorded during the first quarter of 2022 (3.2 million) and is still below the total number of passengers that were mobilized in the same period of 2019, pre-pandemic time, when the flow rose to 5.7 millions.

The Urban Transportation Survey carried out by Dane also shows that the monthly average of vehicles in service grew from 263 to 269, which represents an increase of 2.5%. However, pre-pandemic the figure was higher and amounted to 424 vehicles.

While the monthly average of affiliated vehicles fell from 641 to 632 (-1.4%).

“Old and dilapidated”

Gratiniano Gaona is president of the Community Action Board of the Antonio Nariño Neighborhood. For citizens, delays are one of the main reasons behind the lack of motivation to use buses. He related that “it is extremely long, it takes 20, 30 and even 40 minutes waiting for a bus. Our route is 9 and 20, supposedly there are three 9s, but you wait and wait and none of them pass.”

In that sense, “due to the terrible service, motorcycle taxis have increased,” he added; although traveling by bus can be much safer. “You stop in Comuneros and there you get ‘tutaina’ waiting,” he reiterated. Another factor is the relationship between the price of the ticket and the quality of the vehicles. “It’s already $2,700 and they are the same old, beat-up carts as always, the only thing was that they put that ‘Migo’ sticker on them,” he pointed out.

“One of the primary factors for people not using public transportation is the delay that each route has,” agreed Noel Ortíz, spokesperson for the Eduardo Santos neighborhood. “What is the reason for this delay? Neiva has been the ‘huaca’ of many administrations with respect to the road network, if you go from here to the center, you will find any number of traffic jams due to the simple fact that there are a number of gaps, that slows down the vehicular flow.” .

“Any route that goes north along Carrera Segunda is an odyssey, there is no car that does not get hit or get stranded, there are two arteries with holes,” he explained.

He also considers that motorcycle taxis have “hit” public transportation, both collective and individual; People prefer it because of the shorter time they spend getting to their destination. In addition, this type of informal transportation takes users to the point where it is needed and is competitive in prices.

Furthermore, in Neiva people are choosing to travel with neighbors, “if you need to go to work every day, the neighbor will make the trip for you on a motorcycle, it is even safe and trustworthy.”

Likewise, he thinks that new routes should be included because the city has more neighborhoods. And although there are buses with air conditioning, others do not include that service, “you can’t stand the heat, those buses are becoming obsolete, people don’t get on and opt for the one with air conditioning.”

A financially dead system

“If it is also falling here in Neiva it is clearly because the Sept in its per-operational phase is not providing a good service,” explained councilor Lourdes Mateus. He indicated that since February of this year, “many areas that previously had a route no longer have one,” in addition, the stops were “badly located,” and that added to the delay in frequencies makes people prefer either the motorcycle taxi or buy your own motorcycle.

The low flow of passengers jeopardizes the financial viability of the new system that is planned to be implemented. Photos: Carlos Urrea.

In the midst of this panorama, the lobbyist has insisted on the financial component of the Strategic Public Transportation System – Sept, because “there is still not a successful Setp in the country, Not one! They are generally systems that are born financially dead,” she asserted.

For councilor Alejandro Serna, motorcycle taxis arise precisely as a consequence of user dissatisfaction with the cost and efficiency of getting around by means that are increasingly “faster” and more flexible. “This has unleashed unsustainable urban mobility patterns due to the high dependence on motorcycles. Today, people from Neiva prefer to get around more by motorcycle than by bus or taxi.”

He reflects that, in the future, “this makes us think about whether betting on a strategic transportation system is the appropriate solution, especially when in other cities where it has been implemented, it is financially unsustainable.”

Therefore, according to his vision, what experts in mobility and urban development should ask themselves is whether, given the lack of territorial planning and the disorderly growth of the city, “Has there been any thought of decent transportation for Neiva residents?” .

Another challenge is to bet on environmentally friendly means of transportation.

“The objective of any urban transportation system must be thought and designed to mobilize people and not vehicles,” he stressed. “Then, what we should look for is to maximize the transportation capacity of the system in the number of people that can be transported per hour and not the road capacity, in terms of the number of vehicles that can circulate per hour,” he added.

And finally he warned that “as long as this is not resolved, we will continue with road congestion and the long journey from one cardinal point to another, without forgetting the increase in accidents, among other difficulties.”

In the absence of employment: the search

The former mayor and councilor of Neiva, Héctor Javier Osorio adds another factor and that is the increase in unemployment in Neiva; “Which has as an aggravating reason the lack of circulation of public spending on works and services in the city in the first quarter,” he noted.

For the lobbyist, due to the lack of job opportunities, there has been an increase in motorcycle taxis, as well as the service of private cars such as taxis, and the service of group mobilization service cars for tours. That “is what impacts the decrease in passengers in the public transportation system.”

Consequently, to financially recover the Sept, it is necessary, “in addition to accelerating investment and intergovernmental co-financing programs to generate employment and reduce waste, to strengthen the Tariff Stabilization Fund.”

He recalled that this Fund provides for sources such as the surcharge or the property tax.

What is discouraging the use of the bus in Neiva? 8 May 20, 2024What is discouraging the use of the bus in Neiva? 8 May 20, 2024
Time and prices are the main competition that the collective public transportation system has today.

Finally, he announced that today, Monday, they hope that, in the last public hearing to analyze and debate the Municipal Development Plan, the new director of the Sept will establish the position of the municipal government to enter into the respective debate.

The mayor of Neiva Geman Casagua plans to make three debts for the municipality during the four-year period, the first of which is, precisely, a loan for $30,000 million to inject money into the Setp.

This is money that the municipality must transfer to you in order to get the Ministry to unfreeze another higher amount.

Since Saturday, LA NACIÓN tried to contact the Setp manager through the Mayor’s press area, but it was not possible.

This is how the flow of passengers on Neiva buses has been falling

First trimester

Year Total passengers
2019 5,754,770
2020 4,742. 263
2021 2,351,912
2022 3,264,355
2023 3,315,674
2024 3,154,616

Source: Dane. Creation: THE NATION.

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