Category Archives: TranVia

Last Copies of Cuenca Bus Atlas Sold Out Friday!

I knew it had been a long time since I had a Cuenca Bus Atlas sales event in the park, but I was very surprised at the overwhelming turnout!

I knew when I set the date that I was getting low on our inventory of hard copies, but I’ve never sold more than 5 to 10 at these events, so I thought this time would be the same. “With it being Good Friday,” I thought, “some of the people I’m supposed to meet may not even show up.” Well, I was wrong.

As I walked out the door to go to the park, I went to grab all 10 of the atlases I had left from our entire run of 250. Some were spoken for per prior arrangements, but like I said, I’ve never sold more than 10 at a time; so as I packed my bag, I made a mental note to order a small batch on Monday.

Not only were people waiting for me when I arrived early, there was a steady stream of people arriving for about 45 minutes… and I was sold out in 30!

So my heartfelt apologies to all the folks who showed up after 4:45 and were disappointed to find no atlases available. Luckily, we were able to get most people signed up as members so they’ll have access to the individual maps which they’ll be able to print up and use in the meantime before more copies of the Cuenca Bus Atlas are available.  The solution we came up with on the spot was, since normally if you purchase an atlas, the membership is 50% off, they purchased a membership at $10 and will get 50% off the price of a new atlas next week.

The Good News

The good news is that even after six months since the initial printing of the first edition of the Cuenca Bus Atlas, there have been very few major changes of bus routes. Because our maps show the entire route from end-to-end, there have only been small changes to routes due to construction detours. Some of them have been permanent, like the change of the 16 into El Centro from the north side, but most of the others have detoured buses a few blocks here and there, and those small changes have been temporary.

Since TranVia construction has advanced to 24/7 on Gran Colombia and Mariscal Lamar after three months of little progress, there have been some more semi-permanent changes to the líneas 22 and 50 westbound. Larmar is shut down to bus trafficThey used to be able to be able to go down much of Lamar to Juan Montalvo to turn left and catch back up to their normal routes. Now, they have been forced up to Vega Muñoz along with the líneas 16, 28, 100. I’ll post those updated maps for members as soon as I can get them “ridden and rendered”.

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead, we are monitoring the construction of the TranVia and watching for any announcements about when it will be running with passengers and therefore changing the bus routes.  We are guessing the bus routes that are being replaced by the TranVia will be altered to be more orbital to it. Perhaps they will act more as alimentadores or ‘feeders’ for the TranVia and thus become shorter and more neighborhood bound.

As soon as we find out for sure, we’ll be finalizing the 2nd edition of the Cuenca Bus Atlas and update Until then, current members will have unlimited access and downloads of the individual maps and will get discounts on the new editions and on re-enrollment.

In the meantime, since we are coming up on the six-month mark since the publishing of the 1st edition, perhaps it is time to update it and publish edition 1.2. I’d like to be able to lower the cost by subsidizing the cost of the atlas to the users by selling some modest advertizing. The Cuenca Bus Atlas project has been always been personally underwritten and maintained, so all of the support from members and users of our atlas has been very positive and we are very grateful to everyone. We want to continue to grow and be a resource on how to successfully navigate the Cuenca bus system.

What do you think? Should we try to make the price of future Cuenca Bus Alas editions cheaper by selling advertising on or in between the route pages? Let me know by commenting below. We are always looking for ideas and proposals on how to proceed and develop the project, so please contact cuencabussherpa(at) with your ideas!

Bus System Improvements Sought in Asia

via El Tiempo
Translated by C.K.

Officials from Cuenca are visiting Taiwan and South Korea looking at examples on how to improve the urban bus system.

Cuenca Bus Card System

Mayor Marcelo Cabrera and others have gone abroad to see examples of new electronic payment systems and new fleets of public transport vehicles. (…possibly electric!)

This week Mayor Marcelo Cabrera and Alfredo Aguilar the manager of the Empresa de Movilidad Tránsito y Transporte, (EMOV) have gone to an electric vehicle expo and trade show located on the island of Jeju, South Korea to explore and test “intelligent bus systems.”

At the event, the municipality of Cuenca signed a letter of understanding  with KEPCO, a company that produces electrical systems for all types of vehicles, including buses. Mayor Cabrera and Aguilar also held meetings to exchange of experiences about eco-friendly transportation with executives of the company Begins. Begins is responsible for public transportation in South Korea.

This week’s visit by the Mayor follows up last week’s busy visit to Taiwan by city councilor Cristian Zamora. The councilor met with the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China about their comprehensive transport system and their electronic card payment system, which has been in place for twenty years. Their meeting was aimed at generating ideas on how to implement a similar card payment system in Cuenca.
After returning from abroad, Zamora presented two models of smart cards that can be applied in Cuenca. Both systems are similar to the one the city uses currently; they allow for customized cards which are lockable and allow the return of balance in cases of loss. The difference in these new systems from the current one is that they also have the capacity to allow payments of other services, making them more similar to a debit card.
Zamora talked to managers of IEI, a builder of “smart buses” and also held meetings with technologists from Acer about smart tickets to deal with buses and the TranVia(editor’s note: “Smart tickets” would differ from payment cards in that they would be purchased on a per-use basis, similar to the system in Loja.) His presentation included an explanation of how a “smart bus system” would operate and communicate with users.
Councillor Zamora is sure the Asian systems can be implemented in Cuenca; however, to make this happen, there is still a series of procedural steps. For example, any mandatory implementation of a new card system requires an entire technical report from EMOV, a time-period for public input on the plan, a legal report about the constitutionality, and a study on the effects on “the vulnerable.”

At this time, none of these requirement have been fulfilled and pending those steps have being taken, there are also other councils which are required to review the project before any elaboration can be made on a plan to transition to a new, mandatory payment card.

Of course, there is also the approval of a new bus fare rate by the Cantonal Council; ultimately, a new rate is required and has to be decided in order to go forward with any plan to renew the current fleet of buses. Consultations and discussions to set the new rate are ongoing but what the fare will be and when it will be enacted are still to be determined.



Encroaching Construction on Lamar


TranVia construction is continuing up Mariscal Lamar, one of the former main bus streets. The image is too small to make out, but the green, red, and purple lines represent the 22, 28, and 50 respectively.

The 22, 28, and 50 will be re-routed along Vega Muñoz, which is already crowded with the 100 running its length as well as having the 8, 12, 16, and the 27 using it to cut through El Centro.

This is going to make for extra walking for everyone living north of Parque Calderón. Now, instead of four blocks, the main east-west corridor on the north side of El Centro is a full six blocks up from Parque Calderón. 

The east-west corridors for the south side of El Centro, for those of you scoring at home, is Presidente Córdova going west and Calle Larga or Juan Jaramillo going east.

Help us keep everyone updated by submitting any news or changes via email or the corrections and omissions page.


New Feria Libre Stop

A new parada with a sign has been placed on northbound Las Americas, just between  Av. Remigio Crespo Toral and Calle Del Batan.

This will really help users who want to go to Feria Libre, because now they don’t have to get off at the new parada Tomebamba, and walk all the way back.

I've labeled the new stops "Parada temporal de..."
I’ve labeled the new stops “Parada temporal de…”

TranVia construction is still making the area pretty rough to pass through, but the latest announcement is that work will be going to 24 hours a day starting in March.