buses Bus drivers complain of 'economic burden.'

Mexico City bus drivers plan mega-march to demand fare hike

Marches will make their way to the zócalo from four different points in the city

Residents in the capital are preparing for a day of traffic jams and difficult commutes due to a protest planned by the city’s fed-up bus drivers.

Members of the Mexico City public transit operators’ union, known as FAT, announced that they will carry out a mega-march on Wednesday to protest government inaction toward their request for a fare hike.

In a press conference held outside the Palace of Government on Monday, union members announced that they will begin Wednesday’s march at 7:00 a.m. from four different points in the city.

Marches will make their ways to the zócalo from Metro La Raza in the north, Metro Puebla in the east, Metro General Anaya in the south and along Constituyentes Avenue beginning at the Dolores Cemetery in the west.

“We apologize in advance to the citizens of the capital, but we have no other recourse to make it understood that we are people of flesh and bone, not politicians,” said FAT spokesperson Nicolás Vázquez.

“Every day we carry a great economic burden in order to be able to provide service … and we’re on the brink of starvation due to the improvements we’ve made to the transportation system in recent years.”

Union members claim that the dialogues they have had with authorities have fallen on deaf ears and that the government won’t make efforts to resolve the problems they face.

They said that they’ve been unable to renovate the entire fleet of buses because the fare they’re allowed to charge is insufficient. They requested that it be raised by 2 pesos to continue providing proper service.

The union’s requests to the Secretariat of Transportation (Semovi) for fuel subsidies have also been met with silence.

“[Semovi] had no details about the presented proposals. In exchange for maintaining the fare as it is, they should grant us a subsidy of between 8,000 and 10,000 pesos,” said Vázquez.

In response to the Mexico City government’s suggestion that drivers seek benefits from the Mexican Social Security Institute, Vázquez said that the union could not take the proposal seriously.

“According to what President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said, anyone can go receive social security services simply by presenting their [identification],” he said. “So where’s the benefit being offered?”

Source: Milenio (sp)

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