Category Archives: Announcement

New, Mandatory Bus Cards for $85 EACH? I don’t think so….

Folks, I woke up this morning with dozens of emails and private messages about a rumor that has been posted in one of the very popular expat Facebook groups.

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At the time of this writing, there is no source other than the original poster’s housekeeper.

After searching for anything that give any credence to this post in numerous source, I can find NO MENTION there is any basis for this post in reality.

If anyone can find any articles or ANY SHRED OF SUPPORTING EVIDENCE at all, please send it to me so I can publish the information and settle this rumor.

UPDATE: You can read my comment on this thread at the end. Because of this comment, I have been banned from the “Ecuador Expats” group.

Intersections Re-Opening in El Centro has many Bus Routes RETURNING TO NORMAL!

The intersection at Calle Tarqui and Gran Colombia is ready to open today!

This changes the bus lines: 12, 16, 18, 20, 25, 27, and the 28 from their detoured route further west on Miguel Velez BACK to Tarqui.

The buses should be stopping at their original stops along Tarqui and there should be new signs back in place.

On the other side of El Centro, construction at the intersection of Gapar Sangurima and Vargas Machuca will alter the routes of the 19 and the 24 lines.

PSA on window seat etiquette & Alert for an incredibly rude expat

This is a PSA on how to politely ask to sit in a window seat when the aisle seat is occupied, and an alert for an incredibly rude expat:

Frequently, you may find an aisle seat is occupied, and the window seat is empty. This happens for several reasons – perhaps the aisle seat occupant has been there awhile, and the window seat occupant left. Perhaps they’re getting off at a nearby stop. Perhaps they’re avoiding the sun. Also, many women feel safer from potential theft or groping in the aisle seat. Whatever the reason, you may wish to sit in the window seat.  This can cause a quandary: do you stick your ‘butt’ or your ‘junk’ in someone’s face? Neither! Simply nod or gesture to the seat, and/or say ‘por favor’ or ‘permiso’. Usually, the person in the aisle seat will turn 90 degrees towards the aisle, so you can slide past (somewhat) more comfortably; other times, the person will stand up and allow you to reach the window seat, or slide over to the window seat and give you the aisle. A ‘gracias’ is always polite. This concludes our PSA.

Now, those new to the Cuenca buses may not have noticed this little  dance happening all around them. Others… well, let me tell you my mother’s experience today. I’m actually providing as much detail as possible, in hopes that friends or family of this incredibly rude man will be able to identify him and speak to him about the ‘magic words’ please and thank you.  However, being over 65, if he hasn’t learned by now, it probably won’t happen and he’ll continue to make expats look uncouth and maleducado.

My mother was on the 16 southbound towards Hospital del Rio, and at Almacenes Chordeleg (Luis Cordero y Heroes de Verdeloma) a tall, white, balding man (not skinny, not fat, maybe ‘big boned’) got on the bus and used his tercera edad bus card. He identified the window seat he wanted, where the aisle was occupied by a professional woman. He proceeded to place his hands on the seats in front and behind, twist sideways, and step over this woman, one leg at a time, rubbing his butt in her face!  The woman was absolutely appalled at his behavior, and said something, which my mother translated roughly as ‘I would’ve moved if you’d asked me’. Assuming this man couldn’t speak Spanish, my mother leaned forward from the seat behind them, and translated.  He sneered and said ‘Do you speak Spanish?’, and proceeded to argue with the woman he’d accosted, in Spanish (the singular example I can think of where I wished an expat *didn’t* know Spanish). He turned back around to my mother and said, aghast, ‘She says *I* should say please and thank you and beg her permission to sit down!’. My mother was just embarrassed that he was speaking to her, afraid others might think she was so uncivilized. She tried to telepathically communicate “I’m sorry” with her expression to the other passengers, who were listening to the exchange in disgust.

Shortly after, she moved towards the back in anticipation of her stop; the man also moved back to exit, and said to my mother ‘That woman was so rude! She was sitting on the aisle. *They* never move over! *They* need to *learn*!’ (as emphasized).’  And so he left my mother, jaw agape.

If you know this man, please feel free to let him know, these stories get around – not just on expat groups, but you can bet that woman told a number of her friends and family, who told their friends and family… and so on.  If you witness inappropriate behavior like this, I encourage you to try to intervene if you can in any way de-escalate the situation, consider apologizing and reassuring Cuencanos that not all expats act this way, and admonish people whose behavior is not reflective of our collective gratitude for living in Cuenca.

For those with beginner Spanish, such an exchange might be something like this for a man: Lo siento por él. Es muy maleducado, no es mi amigo. No todos somos así. and for a woman: Lo siento por ella. Es muy maleducada, no es mi amiga. No todos somos así.

Minor Detour of the 7, 10, & 26 because of Av. España and New Routes of Buses Leaving Terminal Terestre

As the title says, this is a post with two different subjects smashed into one. The detour effecting the bus lines 7, 10, and 26 is minor and not quite meriting its own post. So, to fill it out, I’ve added the maps showing the routes the inter-provincial buses will be taking in and out-of-town from the south and the west.

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So first of all, TranVia construction has closed the connecting part of Av. España and pushed the buses back over to Huayna Capac.


More interestingly, but less having to do with local buses, check out the new routes for buses leaving and arriving Cuenca.

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Instead of coming all the way to Las Americas, buses coming from Guayaquil will now cut through neighborhoods west of Feria Libre all the way up to the newly paved parts of Tejar; cut around to Las Americas via Las Pencas, and then join the old route across on Av. Heroes de Verdeloma.

That’s a lot of traffic for those people living along Las Pencas!

Cmi-LnhW8AAunaa.jpg large Meanwhile, in a move that probably should have taken place a year ago, they’ve finally re-route bus traffic going south to places like Loja and Yunguilla Valley are now cutting over the Autopista on the south side of town to quickly get over to Control Sur area that is just south of all the construction.


Here is your bus to SuperMaxi Las Americas: Changes to the 3 and the 8

The Bad News: The 8 has been changed YET AGAIN in just a few weeks.
The Good News: The 8 is going past Supermaxi Las Americas the closest.

There was no word of this yesterday, but this morning, we got this update for the 3 and the 8 lines near Supermaxi.

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As you can see above, the 8 has now shifted northward, instead of turning off with every other bus in El Centro going south, the 8 now continues across on Vega Muñoz and cuts over to Las Americas the way the 16, 28, and 100 used to but no longer does.

There is a stop just before it turns right off of Las Americas called simply “Supermaxi” where you can now get off within a couple of blocks of the store rather than more than a half-dozen. After that, the 8 goes up De Las Pencas to catch up with its original route out Tejar.

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Returning from west, the 8 now continues up Tejar to the street just above Supermaxi where it joins back up with Las Americas to go the same the 16, 28, and 100 used to, which I mentioned before.


Meanwhile, the 3 is now cutting across the Las Americas and Ordóñez Lasso construction zones by way of 3 de Noviembre westbound and 12 de Abril eastbound on the south side of Rio Tomebamba. Cm1vNvAW8AA5jxp.jpg large


So throw out the last maps in the other post for the 8 and add these!

MAJOR CHANGES as Las Americas in Front of Supermaxi is Closed

The latest change to hit and it is a DOOZY!


Let’s start with the detours for the 16, the 28, and the 100s…. they NO LONGER go anywhere close to SuperMaxi Las Americas.

This is a very inconvenient change for a lot of people who go to Supermaxi Las Americas because there is no good way to get there anymore without having to walk several blocks.


The northbound 16 now goes up Edwin Sacoto to 12 de Abril where it crosses over to the Otorongo bridge to join the rest of the buses using Miguel Velez, the only street on the west side of El Centro not closed yet. After rejoining Gaspar Sangurima, it returns to its newly changed route turning left on Toral, right on Pio Bravo, and rejoining Tarqui on its way north to San Pedro.


Meanwhile, the southbound joins all the other buses cutting through El Centro on Miguel Heredia and going around the Redondel Otorongo.


Look familiar? The southbound 100 takes the same path as the 16 to get to Las Americas.


The northbound 100 is taking Remigio Crespo all the way over to Unidad Nacional before joining back up with the same route as the 16 all the way up to Gaspar Sangurima.

The 100 also has been changed on the others side of the airport were Av. España has been closed to traffic. Look for the details in another post.

13576864_1333159893379333_3346442363218412151_o The 28 used to take the same path as the 16 and the 100 around Las Americas where it would turn around and start its return trip.

Now, it still takes the same path as the 16 and the 100, but turning back on its return trip on Remigio Crespo.


Changes have changed and changed back in some cases!

I have been neglecting my duties over the last couple of weeks mainly because of being overwhelmed by all the changes that have come down. Not only new changes, but some of the lines have actually changed back to how they were running before El Centro was split in half.

Now, TranVia construction has progressed to the Redondel de Las Americas where it is running into the detours cause by the construction on Ordoñez Lasso and the changes to the 3, 8, 13, and the 50 have now been changed since Del Batan and General Escandon at Las Americas  is now torn up.

Here are pictures of the new traffic jams on 3 de Noviembre under the bridge on the NORTH side of the Rio Tomebamba.
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Photos Courtesy of Paul Laguna

Rather than bogging down this post with all the details and maps we have from the city, I’ll be making separate posts throughout the day.

Thanks for reading and using Cuenca Bus Sherpa!


Cold Weather Brings More Bus Route Changes

Not that the cold has made them close roads, but both seem to be happening without warning and for longer.

No sooner had I updated 20 different routes’ maps (yes, I’m still trying to finish all the uploads of the new PDFs), the city updates the schedule and closes new areas of the TranVia route and alters some of the same bus lines I just finished updating!

Hey, no hard feelings… ’tis the season. These latest major changes have been a headache for me, but there isn’t much more of it left to tear up!

This week, the last area to to be torn up, the area of Avenida España past the Redondel de Milchichig to Avenida de las Américas, has been completely closed off to traffic.


According to the new schedule, this work will conclude and the street will re-open March 11th, 2017.

As such, the bus lines that were still utilizing the bit of road are all detoured.

Here are images of the changes provided by the city.

Troncal 100



Líneas 7 and 10 will both be taking the same route on their northbound trips.



Meanwhile, Línea 20 has been cut from its leg to Ciudad Kennedy and parada Hormiazuay.

Turning around at the Redondel de Milchichig, the 20 now loses seven stops on the east end of its normal route. That leaves only the 28 serving the Ciudad Kennedy area.ClKna9zWEAE3Rvx

Be sure to plan your travels through this area accordingly!

Like I said, although this means more work and more time before I can have the website updated and even longer before I’ll have new print copies with the changes available. Bear with me folks! I’m doing my best!
working on the site

005 — Looking back on the Past to Appreciate Today’s Changes

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Today, I’m going to be talking about Cuenca’s past and reading an article about Cuenca’s bus system that appeared in the newsletter called “Sustainable Tranport” published by the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy in the Fall of 2001. That was when the city took control of the local bus system and turned it from an unregulated mess of over 600 privately owned buses to the current system of routes regulated by the city and leased by a half dozen of private coopertivas.

We also have some news from the week to cover, including the latest updates with the TranVia schedule as well as more construction on the West side a block away from the Ordonez Lasso widening project. Those stories and more coming up on the Cuenca Bus Sherpa Podcast.

This week’s news sources:

Plus a feature from “Sustainable Transport” #12 2001

Changes to the 13 and the 50
Source: Cuenca Bus Sherpa Podcast

New TranVia Schedule Announced

Via El Tiempo 

On Friday, the mayor announced a new timetable of goals and a new completion date for the construction of the TranVia.

Appearing with representatives of the contractors doing the work, the mayor has designated MAY 15th 2017 as THE DAY when the TranVia will begin regular service. Mayor Cabrera hopes that the public announcement and pledge by the contractors will help guarantee their compliance to the new schedule of deadlines.


So according to the new schedule, Gran Colombia between Las Americas and Huayna Capac will be completed, in its entirety by November 21st.

Next, the workshop depot and administrative building are to be completed by December 3rd.

After that, they want to have all the work in El Centro completed by December 31st, with the exception of Mariano Cueva and Gaspar Sangurima at the plaza de Mercado 9 de Octubre. The deadline for that area, including Lamar is a week later on January 8th, 2017.

Continuing into 2017, Las Americas, including the bridges over the Rios Tomebamba and Yanuncay is to be finished by January 24th. Actually, the bridges are set to be completed first, the Yanuncay should be completed by this July and the Tomebamba bridge will be done by November 4th.

Rounding the construction is Av. España, although they should have the new bridge over the Milchichig done by November, from Chola Cuencana all the way to the Puente Fabian Alarcon is to be completed by March 11th.

After the construction is completed, April 12th has been set as the start of the test runs of the entire route without passengers. Even though these dynamic tests will not be carrying passengers, they do want to be able to give special rides to local dignitaries and authorities during the city’s 12 de Abril founding celebrations.

After a full month of empty runs, the formal debut of the TranVia de los Cuatro Rios will be May 15th, 2017.

Teresa Bermeo, a member of the TranVia oversight committee has promised to publicize any delays to the promised schedule.

Shall we start a betting pool on