HAVANA TIMES — Holguin will add a new proud title to that of the “City of Parks” this month and will now also become the Capital of Motor Tricycles.
From the end of this month, the province of Holguin and its capital will become the place with the greatest number of motor tricycles in all of the country, in its search to look for affordable alternatives for the people in order to provide relief to the public transport crisis.
According to TaxiCuba company in Holguin, in charge of this special transport program, a total of 170 motor tricycles, made in China, have already been allocated to the region and will slowly arrive so they can start working under the system of leasing them out to drivers.
Holguin will be the province with the greatest number of these vehicles, which began to operate as public transport in Santiago de Cuba and in Trinidad, Sancti Spiritus.
“A mobility study was conducted in Holguin, which included the number of bicitaxis that are operating, as well as cars and collective taxi drivers on the main city routes and transport needs,” reported Jorge Mastrapa, the director of TaxiCuba in statements he gave to the provincial newspaper Ahora.
Mastrapa said that 12 out of the 170 motor tricycles allocated to Holguin can already be found on its streets, and 8 more should arrive next week.
The Chinese-made vehicles are assembled in Havana, with a four-stroke 260 cc (cubic centimeter) engine, a 5-speed transmission and capacity for six passengers.
Like tourism taxis
According to TaxiCuba statistics, motor tricycles can travel 13 kilometers per liter and will operate on a lease basis, the same way tourism taxis do.
The official explained that they will lease the vehicle out to taxi drivers for a daily fee, and therefore they would have to make a significant return and charge in national pesos, set at 4 regular Cuban pesos (CUP) initially for the route between Holguins provincial hospitals.
“Now, we are immersed in the personnel selection process for drivers who will drive these motor tricycles,” Mastrapa added.
National authorities, provincial and local governments are all looking for alternatives to public transport which will be more affordable to the population, in the middle of a crisis that has only worsened after imposing stiff fare regulations and requirements along the routes the collective taxi drivers operate on, especially in Havana, since the beginning of the year.