Tag Archives: website news

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:
http://www.eltiempo.com.ec/noticias-cuenca/185258-ciudadano-fallece-arrollado-por-un-bus/
http://www.eltiempo.com.ec/noticias-cuenca/185261-seis-proyectos-cambiara-n-la-cara-del-centro-hista-rico/
http://www.eltiempo.com.ec/noticias-cuenca/185213-obras-del-tranva-a-se-entregara-en-mayo-del-2017/
http://www.eltiempo.com.ec/noticias-cuenca/185264-obras-del-tranva-a-se-extienden-hasta-mayo/
http://www.eltiempo.com.ec/noticias-cuenca/184952-avenida-orda-a-ez-lasso-se-entregara-en-octubre/

Plus a feature from “Sustainable Transport” #12 2001

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

New PDFs uploaded

I’m in the last phase of rendering and uploading the new maps for the routes changed by the construction in El Centro. 

Extra time was needed to update the base maps as well as the route trail, but you will notice that I didn’t update the stop names. The new maps show the detoured routes, but I left the numbered locations of the original stops in place for now. EMOV personnel have been installing new parada signs along Velez and Heredia, the streets on the west side of El Centro that are the new detour routes.

I’ve gotten three of the twelve routes published as PDF and uploaded to the side tabs for members, so far. I’m still working at finishing the rest and uploading them today.

Things have been pretty quiet on the site while I’ve been working on these maps, but I’ve been putting all the daily news stuff into my new podcasts.

Keep The Messages on Changes Coming!

I’ve literally gotten more emails and messages about changes to bus lines in the last two weeks than I have in over six months that Cuenca Bus Sherpa has been online!

Obviously there has been some major advancements in the TranVia construction along Las Americas, meanwhile, the frentistas in El Centro are up in arms about missed deadlines and broken promises. The person who was in charge of the project has resigned for “strictly personal reasons” and they are supposed to name a new person to the position today.

This week, I’ve gotten emails mostly about the 7, the 16, the 22, and the 25…… based on the reports, both the 7 and the 25 are have been routed off Las Americas at Av. Mexico in order to access the Yanuncay area stops.

The 16 has had another major change due to TranVia construction on Gran Columbia between Tarqui y Juan Montalvo. It can no longer get to the stops at Colegio San Francisco or Pio Bravo and is instead detouring by turning left on Estevez de Toral, which is two blocks west of Juan Montalvo. Using Toral, the 16 goes all the way up to Pio Bravo and stops at two new stops on that street. The 27 normally passes by these same two stops. There is a stop around the corner from the stop called “Pio Bravo” on the 16’s map. Looking over my own work, I see that the stop is NOT listed on the 27 where it should be between stops 42 and 43. It probably didn’t have a sign last year, and when I recorded the route, the bus didn’t stop at it because no one need it.

That is a big headache for people who want to get out of El Centro and go north to Av. Abelardo J. Andrade!

The best option for you if you normally the 16 north on Tarqui is to take the 18 from anywhere along Tarqui to the Luis Cordero stop on Heroes De Verdeloma. From there, you can cross at the Chordeleg and wait for the 16 there.

What happened with the 22 and the 27 this week?

I got several emails from frustrated people who all waited for either the 27 or the 22 where they normally do on Monday and Tuesday and never saw their buses come.

Double check me on this, but when I went and checked them on Thursday, they were back to their routes. I think what happened was the intersections at Gran Colombia and/or Lamar with both Miguel Velez and Estevez de Toral were torn up and not allowing north-south passage.

These changes are stressful, but please “have understanding.”

We do our best to keep up with updates, but these last two weeks have seen so many changes, both big changes and small, temporary changes, that I can’t keep up with all of them. I try to check up on reports of route changes, but more often than not, the change that was reported may have only been good for a day or two before it switched back.

Regardless, please keep reporting deviations and changes in routes and sending me your stories and observations about TranVia construction in your areas. I love reading your first-hand reports!

 

 

Looking Ahead: Updates and Hub Maps

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.

We are always watching the news for mentions of new developments in the plan, but if you see a local story about the buses or the TranVia, please send them to us. As soon as we find out about changes that are for sure, we’ll be finalizing the 2nd edition of the Cuenca Bus Atlas and update CuencaBusSherpa.com. Until then, current members will continue to have unlimited access and downloads of the individual maps and will get discounts on the new editions and on re-enrollment.

Coming Soon: Hub Maps

I’m working on some new maps for members to come out soon! Available only online, I’m making what I’m calling “hub maps.” The hub maps will show the busiest stops, that is, the ones that have the most bus lines passing by; and the most popular stops, that is, the ones most people ask about.

Puente Del Vado Hub Map Sample
CLICK ON MAP TO OPEN LARGER VERSION IN A NEW TAB–This is an example of a Hub Map of the “Puente Del Vado” stops.

This map shows the area where Av. Loja crosses Av. 12 de Abril known on the buses as the parada Puente del Vado. As you can see (when you open this tiny picture in a new tab to make it readable), there are actually four stops in the area all called “Puente del Vado.” And of course, different buses pass all four stops.

So the burden of creating these maps is to figure out how show you what buses pass which stop in a way that is both visually appealing and not cluttered with too much information.

On this map, the red line represents the 12, 17, & 18,which all happen to be going northbound, stopping at #004. Only the 12 going southbound is part of the pink line passing by the #003 on Av. 12 de Abril (eastbound side); the southbound 18 turns off onto Guyas to cut down to Remigio Crespo Toral, and the southbound 17 is part of the blue line. Also part of the pink line are the 2, 5, & 7 eastbounds AND the 22 WESTBOUND.

That’s right, take a look at the map for Route 22, the eastbound goes west on Av. 12 de Abril while the westbound goes east past Puente del Vado! 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the river, no less than nine different buses pass by on the orange line. Most of them are eastbounds or northbounds, but then there is the southbound 14 that passes through El Centro on its way to Del Valle.

It’s enough to make your head hurt and I haven’t worked out the kinks to the point where my perfectionist self is happy yet, so if you have some suggestions for the Hub Maps, I’m open to them.

Updates, Ideas, and the Future of CBS

Wow! We are at the six-month mark since the publishing of the 1st edition! We get new requests for hard copies of the atlas all the time, so since we sold out of all of the last of our hard copies a few weeks ago, we went ahead and published edition 1.2.

The main change I added was the 16’s change through El Centro. I really expected that one to change back, but no, it seems like it’s going to be permanent.  Heads Up:It hasn’t happened yet, but soon, the TranVia construction is going to close Gran Colombia between Montalvo y Tarqui, and at that point, the 16 will probably skip the Colegio San Francisco stop on Tarqui altogether. Anyway, I’m also in the process of re-riding the routes from beginning to end, so once I have more small updates accumulated, I’ll print additional sub-editions.

When it comes to after all the dust settles and we have a functioning TranVia and new bus routes and we are about to publish the 2nd Edition of the atlas, I want to be able to lower the cost by subsidizing the cost of the atlas to the users by selling some modest advertising.

Our long-term goal is to continue to grow and be a resource on how to successfully navigate the Cuenca bus system. Even after the city publishes and distributes free maps, our objective remains to provide the most comprehensive maps available. The Cuenca Bus Atlas project has always been personally underwritten and maintained, so all of the support, both financial and moral, from members and users of our atlas has been very positive and we are very grateful to everyone for buying our products and making donations.

Speaking of donations, I’d like to make a special mention of our newest member living in Japan, Eric C. who just sent a very kind donation via paypal with a note about how much he appreciated the work and wanted to support “just an amazing project.” Eric hasn’t made it to Cuenca yet, so his support means a lot and I just wanted to make sure to say, Thank you Eric!

 FEEDBACK Please!

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? Please let me know by commenting below.

We are always looking for ideas and proposals on how to proceed and develop the project, and as I mentioned above, if you have any thoughts on how to display the new Hub maps, please contact cuencabussherpa(at)gmail.com with your ideas!

Thanks again – see you on the bus!

Webstore getting better

Hey everyone,

I’ve been working at getting the web store working again. We had a lot of orders in the first few hours of the GringoPost, and then we noticed everything stop. Customers have been reporting getting messages that say “Internal Server Error” meanwhile, while we have noticed new accounts being created, no orders were coming through, and no notifications were going to anyone.

So I’ve narrowed the problems down to the account registration process conflicting with the customer registration process. So, people would add a product to the cart, fill out the form with their information, and then the page would reset saying “Internal Server Error.” Then, when the customer would try again, they’d get a message that said their account had been created. What a headache!

I’ve tweaked some settings and made a couple of changes and I think we are getting closer to being fully functional.

I’ll post more updates about this as needed; however, PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU STILL HAVE PROBLEMS either by commenting below or emailing me.

Thank you for your help!

Bugs in the online store

Please have patience folks!

An ad for our site posted to GringoPost this morning and we’ve had a huge surge in traffic to the web store. Although I’d tested the functionality from different browsers, I’m seeing some bugs creeping into the online ordering system. If you have an order or an account pending, please hold tight while I figure out what the problem is.

Go ahead and send me an email at cuencabussherpa (at) gmail.com if you tried to place an order and got “internal server error” or haven’t received an email about your order. As always, be sure to check your spam folder.

Additional dates and locations for atlas purchases this week

Greetings all! We hope that you enjoyed the Fiestas de Cuenca; I know we did! I also spent a lot of time getting the basic website framework up, so that if you have purchased a physical atlas, you can register for free access to the online PDFs. I’ll continue working on the website this week, and will also be out several days so that you can purchase your physical copy!

Today / Wednesday I’ll be at Plazoleta Santo Domingo from  noon-1pm (on the corner of Gran Colombia and Padre Aguirre) and again at trivia night at Cafe Eucalyptus from 7-9pm (on Gran Colombia between Padre Aguirre and Benigno Malo).

Tomorrow / Thursday, I’ll be at Parque de la Madre, in a shady spot near the planetarium from 9-11am. The planetarium is  on the southern end of the park, closer to Ave. Florencia Astudillo and Millennium Plaza than to 12 de Abril.

UPDATE

And Friday, I’ll be at Puro Cafe from 9-11am, behind Iglesia Todosantos on the east end of Calle Larga.

Puro Cafe espresso bar will be open on Wednesday, 4th of November and Thursday, 5th of November from 9 AM to 5 PM. We will take a break on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th of November.

FRIDAY, I’ll be at Plaza La Merced, behind Goza on Calle Larga and Presidente Borrero from 9am to 11am. 

Stay tuned for additional dates/times/locations!  If you’re not able to come to a listed time/place, feel free to send me an email and we may be able to arrange to meet you.

Also, please note that we have added a corrections page , so that you can help us keep everything up to date for the community!

Thank your for all the support and feedback; it’s very appreciated!