More than 16,000 Bogota bus drivers called a strike Monday morning, leaving thousands of commuters in the capital city unable to get to work. There are reports of attacks on the few buses that are still on the roads.
Following an fruitless meeting with the Bogota Mayor’s Office on Sunday night, the Association of Small Transporters (Apetrans) called a strike starting12 AM Monday.
Bus drivers are protesting against the “false promises” of the Bogota authorities, Apetrans manager Alfonso Perez told W Radio.
Perez explained that Apetrans is in dispute with the Bogota Mayor’s Office over the process of exchanging old buses for newer models throughout 2010. Apetrans believes that the government is charging “laughable” and unaffordable prices for the obligatory purchase of new buses.
Semana.com reports cases of people throwing rocks at buses that are still running.
The city’s TransMilenio is running as normal but Semana reported that some of its services had been “sabotaged”.
Authorities suspended “pico y placa” – the system that restricts the days that car owners may use their vehicles – to enable more people to get to work. The only other course open to Bogotaños is to take a taxi.