• Passengers board one of the buses relocated in a sweeping change affecting the heart of the Centro Historico. Photo: Courtesy

Confusion will give way to order once the public adjusts to the new Centro, said Yucatan Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal.

“The first month there will be a lot of chaos, a lot of disorder and misinformation in the Centro, while we all adapt to these new measures, but when they get used to it, things will improve a lot,” Vila Dosal said during the En Directo con el Gober program, referring to the relocation of bus stops and combis, part of a plan to decrease crowding and coronavirus infections.

Maps indicating the new routes are displayed in 24 locations, in addition to 10 information kiosks.

But La Jornada Maya reporters observed bus passengers who were upset, disoriented and confused looking for bus stops, although new maps have been circulated widely. A few unleashed their frustration at bus drivers with insults.

A driver named Felipe, who has worked for the Rapidos de Mérida for 28 years, commented that four people insulted him and complained loudly because they had to walk a long way to reach his bus, heading to the Fidel Velázquez neighborhood.

“One of them surprised me because she was a nurse,” Felipe said. “We will see how things turn out tomorrow, Monday. The only drawback is that here people have nowhere to shelter,” he said.

An elderly passenger, María Leticia, said she was greatly affected by the change.

“My knee hurts because I have rheumatoid arthritis and I’ve been walking from Santiago; I live in La Inalámbrica and the bus left me there, now I’m going to visit my brother at Melchor Ocampo and I had to walk here (Calle 59 and 48).”

For citizens like María Leticia, Merida Mayor Renán Barrera Concha announced 10 yellow combis that will run a kind of internal circuit to serve people with disabilities, pregnant women and older adults so they can avoid walking long distances from one stop to another.

Meanwhile, María Fernanda, who lives in Villas de Oriente, said that bus transfers are too difficult.

“The truth is, I do not feel that this is going to reduce infections because people line up and do not keep their distance,” she said. “Besides, since the Centro is emptier, people will take advantage of it to go for a walk, it will be the same.”

A 20-year-old young man named Reynold approved of ther changes and saw its potential.

He takes a bus to the Cathedral, and although he has to hoof it more, “it’s okay because we are eventually going to adapt; now the Centro is emptier, there will be fewer people and fewer chances of accidents.”

Helpers in green vests

Some 250 facilitators, wearing green vests, hand out leaflets and help bus passengers find their stops. They don’t always hear “thank you” in return.

“They have already insulted me and said things,” said one facilitator named Guadalupe, “but I simply respond with kindness, I give them the map and support them, that is my job.”

“Some are going to walk a little less and others a little more, but the plan was not made to walk more or less, but to take care of their health. Everything that has been done in this mobility plan is to be able to have better health conditions and reduce the risk of infections because the priority for all Yucatecans now is to be able to take care of our health,” she added.

And some people like Sonia, who lives in Ciudad Caucel, have understood it that way.

“Everything is really easier, people were crowding a lot in the center,” she said. “This was done for our care, as a precaution. That is the great advantage that people do not see.”

Source: La Jornada Maya

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