Cuba imports new taxi buses
– Cuba’s government said on Thursday it was importing hundreds of microbuses and buses to alleviate a growing transport shortage in Havana due to its clampdown on private sector taxis.
Given a chronically deficient public transport system, Cubans in the capital have for decades relied on more than 6 000 private taxis, many vintage US cars.
The government’s new, tighter regulations on the private sector that came into effect yesterday included rules for taxis. Some drivers in Havana said the new rules were so stifling that they could not make a living and would rather give up their licences to operate as taxis.
Vice Minister for Transport Marta Oramas said 800 drivers had handed in their licences. The new rules also include a technical revision that Havana’s “rolling museum”, including Chevrolets, Plymouths and Fords from the ’50s, are struggling to pass. Oramas said 2 167 licences had been cancelled so far as a result. Transport Minister Adel Yzquierdo said 400 new microbuses would arrive in January.