The company Viajero, in charge of marketing public passenger transport between Cuban provinceswill limit online booking per customer, in a context of high demand for its services and growing dissatisfaction with the functioning of the mobile application (apk) used for the purchase of tickets.
The measure aims to provide more opportunities to book a larger number of people by this means and to curb the hoarding and resale of tickets by a few customers, according at Grandmother newspaper.
A few days ago, the company announced on his social networks on changes to the online booking policy, which since this month limits purchases per customer to up to 80 cumulative capacities over a 30-day period. This figure would be reduced to 30 capacities from August.
However, the announcement raised a wave of criticism from the population, who considered the measure insufficient and believe that it still encourages “the resale of inter-provincial tickets due to the existing passenger transport limitations in the country in due to the low availability of equipment”. the official publication pointed out.
— Viajero Company (@EmpresaViajero) July 3, 2022
Considering this scenario, Freddy Álvarez, director of the Viajero company, explained that “at present, taking into account the opinions of the population, the adjustment of the authorized limit of purchases accumulated in the last 30 days at a moderate figure is being assessed”, but without specifying this possible amount yet.
In this way, he said, “the real demand for capacity per user will be taken into account, without forgetting that there are customers who regularly use this service for work, study or for other reasons, generally on short distance journeys.
During an exchange with the press, the leaders of the Business Group Automotive Transportation Services (GEA) acknowledged that currently through the Viajando apk “about 30% of the capacities that were managed in the initial period of use of this platform are offered”, from two years ago.
This is due to the economic crisis that the island is going through and its repercussion on the transport sector, while in 2020 almost 300 daily interprovincial bus trips were planned, currently only about 110 are made, according to a dispatch from the news agency Agencia Cubana de Noticias (ACN).
This means that “every day at 8:30 am during the opening hours of the new reservation cycle, the apk reports peaks of 30,000 requests per second, against an approximate supply of 7,000 capacities, which generates the dissatisfaction of not being able to cover the requested demand.
Officials added that “users’ internet connection, payment gateway stability, and mobile device characteristics also affect the stability of a widely used platform” ― it has approximately 380,000 registered users ― and confirmed that by this means “bus tickets can be sold between 20 and 30 seconds after being offered”, indicates the ACN report.
In these difficult conditions and based on the work of a platform monitoring team, “a group of users has been detected that has managed to accumulate an indiscriminate number of reservations”, Grandmother reported. According to this newspaper, which quotes the director of the company Viajero, in the last 30 days 1.43% have purchased between 21 and 30 reservations through the apk, while 1.08% acquired more than 31 capacities, a group that includes customers who booked more than 100 tickets.
“That is why, since the beginning of this modality of sale, accounts and telephone lines have been blocked from certain users who have proven to be using the application inappropriately,” the manager said.
However, while state transportation officials hope the new reservation policy will give everyone “a greater chance of getting a ticket,” they warn that it won’t be enough to meet current demand for capacity or , at least, to reach the level of Previous years.
This, he acknowledged, “can only be achieved when the financial situation improves and the number of daily departures in national programming resumes”.