Bus Disorder, as Usual   4 comments

While at work, my co-oworker asked “You don’t ride the BUS, do you?”   “Not today” I responded. “WELL, you missed all the craziness this morning. Half the buses weren’t running because they didn’t have their ‘carnet’ [registration] today.”

For the first time in something like 10 years El Salvador is doing a mass registration renewal and everyone has to get their vehicles re-registered.  They are also starting something new for bus drivers, a special motorist ID.   In order to get this ID, the bus drivers have to sign papers saying they agree to commit to pay any fines they have for traffic violations like speeding, putting themselves on a payment plan.  Many bus drivers in El Salvador have accrued hundreds upon hundreds of dollars worth of these fines (“esquelas”), so they have not gone to get their motorist card, or ‘carné’.

So all day today, buses all over El Salvador were out of service.  Would-be passengers of buses were taking pick-ups ad various trucks, vans, cabs, what have you to make it to work while people who run the buses were protesting the ‘injustice.’

Video footage on channel 33 news showed a group of bus drivers and fare collectors making a stink in the street, blockading it with large rocks and anything they could. They stopped a bus in the middle of the demonstration, and when it could go no further, everyone piled out. Right after, the fare collector of the forcibly stopped bus was shown on the video yelling at the demonstrators, saying “Why don’t you have your carné?”

THANK YOU, Mr. Fare collector, for exposing them for who they are.  If you don’t pay your fines, (and in this case, they get a break to pay them over time) why should you even be driving?

well, apparently this phenomenon is quite common, and 87% of bus drivers in the metropolitan area do not have their motorist card yet, according to this article on La Prensa Grafica.

So, more disorder and always disorder with the buses here in El Salvador.    System Of A Down – Disorder

4 responses to “Bus Disorder, as Usual

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  1. So true, and I would be willing to bet that the drivers who don’t have the new registration plates don’t go because the buses they are driving are so run down they won’t pass the new inspections.

  2. Pretty sure the word is “carnet,” the locals don’t pronounce consonants at the end of words, so you get “carneé’” instead.

  3. I saw this on the news last night and instantly thought of this post. How sad for people who rely on buses to get them to a from work. The report showed people literally hanging out of the doors of the few buses that are running. I hope these drivers get their s!!t together soon before someone is seriously hurt.

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