In the 47862373, although it seems strange, a kind voice greets and answers my question. It is the telephone number of the bus station, located in San José de las Lajas. The bus will go out in time. I breath slowly. At the appointed time appears the Diana, neither Roman goddess, nor hunter, just a small apple-green color bus that broke the curse of public transport in Mayabeque and showed that it is possible to recover the seriousness of a service for which nobody bet.
These buses, of recently presence in the local scene, circulate at all times through the broken roads of the province and form an effective network in times of deprivation, when the external fences increase their furor and it is urgent to invent to win. To invent, in the most honest sense of the word: innovate, find outlets, where apparently there are none.
Excuse me, Excuse me … come on, go ahead gentlemen … run a little bit that everyone wants to get on … the phrases crowded the small space of the Diana.
A mulatta looks at me threateningly as I stand by her side. She is sitting. I get apart from her shoulder that I touched unintentionally. Those are the risks of a full bus. Passenger overload violates the established number of people standing. But who leaves anyone down? The narrow corridor complicates the journey even more and the driver does not seem to care. Come on, gentleman, it is empty behind… empty?, one lady asks. Here is no place for anybody else, somebody scream from the bottom, while Diana remains imperturbable.
If anything is praiseworthy of the work done after the province of Mayabeque was established, nine years ago, among other investments, it is the improvement of public transport. It’s not a cheap applause. Each day brings a different experience, there are better and worse days. But, even in the midst of material deficiencies and austere fuel allocations, the current reality is very distant from those times when we almost had the hitch hick, as the only possibility of traveling through these sites.
When the non-agricultural cooperative Dream Blue disappeared, an ephemeral attempt that became a real nightmare, the situation of the sector in the territory worsened. That idea was wrecked by debts and problems of all kinds, mainly economic ones. However, the bitter taste of the failed experiment happened, little by little, another reality for which it was necessary to exorcise more than one demon.
The acquisition and start-up of a park of buses assembled in the country, made it possible to take on the challenge of linking the eleven municipalities of Mayabeque with each other and also connecting them with Havana.
The driver stops the march, descends and enters a house where he is apparently known. The heat melts. Hey, come on!, this is not yours, someone says from inside … I can hard straighten a cramped foot, stumble over a bag that someone managed to put under a seat … why do they allow to upload this type of package in a passenger bus? … I wonder myself without response. Everything must be subject to inspection, check-up, control, I keep grinding to myself, while, after a while, the Diana starts again and runs at high speed through the narrow and leaky road.
Gradually habitually has been achieved, inherent to the environment; respect for schedules, something lost; the concatenation between the itineraries of all the terminals, to avoid coincidences in the same section; a conglomerate of essential aspects to return the image damaged to the sector by so many setbacks.
In spite of the still precarious comfort of these cars, of indiscipline (of the passengers and the crews) today the story is different. The simple fact of calling by telephone to ask if the bus is going to leave, makes us recover the astonishment and is another sign that the bets to strengthen and stabilize the transport in Mayabeque, for now, seem to have hit the bull’s-eye.