MOPT officials ride the Intelinea on Friday. Photo credit, ALONSO TENORIO, La Nacion
MOPT officials ride the Intelinea on Friday. Photo credit, ALONSO TENORIO, La Nacion

Besides the politics the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) has found that illegal bus and taxi stands, the unlawful transportation of passengers in buses and roads jammed with drivers looking to alternate routes to the chaos, are some of the obstacles threatening the “Interlinea” bus routes that the government pretends to put into place in less than two weeks.

On Friday, Transport officials took a journey through the Desamparados – Morovia route, one of five routes of the intersectoral buses – to find that in many of the bus stops marked off several years ago when the bus routes were announced, taxi drivers use the stops as their own. Also, do some of the private bus operators who, with minivans and illegally carry passengers.

In addition, MOPT officials found that many drivers use the few “bus only” lanes, not respecting the concept of mass transit.

The Intelinea would remove the need for passengers to travel to and from downtown San José to move from points like Escazú to La Uruca or Moravia and Desamparados.

Currently, a passenger living/working in Escazú must travel to downtown San José to take another bus to Alajuelita, which is adjacent to Escazú.

Joining MOPT officials in the 14 kilometre run were bus operators, making it clear that for the Interlinea to work there must be “bus lanes and unobstructed roads”. To the contrary, the buses will join the congestion and more of the same that is the daily nightmare in San José.

In yesterday’s run of the Desamparados – Moravia the trip took 55 minutes in one direction and 45 minutes in the other, this at 7am. MOPT officials said they will seek alternatives to reduce the travel time.

MOPT officials also accepted they will have to “get tough”.

One groupt that is expected to fight hard against the MOPT attempts are the taxis. Gilberth Ureña, head of the Foro Nacional de Taxistas  – taxi union – rejected the removal of the illegal taxi stands, saying the two services should compliment each other.

Traffic experts point out that the answer to the chaotic situation in San José is simple: the roads are cluttered of vehicles fleeing the vehicular restrictions.

“No matter how many traffic cops and traffic ligths, now drivers move on alternate routes”, said Julio Torres.

For his part, Germán Marín, direct of the Policía de Tránsito (traffic police), he will be holding meetings with ranking MOPT offcials to determine how to keep the streets free and clear.

The Policía de Tránsito is an autonomous division of the MOPT.

Source: La Nacion