After signing the agreement for the “co-financing of the Transmetro operational deficit”, which occurred on November 12, the Barranquilla mass transportation system has received 19,790 million pesos.
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The total sum of what was agreed between the Nation and the District exceeds 28,000 million pesos, an amount that comes from the General Budget of the Nation and from the city’s own resources.
The Mayor’s Office is going to end up delivering, with the 14,000 million from the Government, a total of about 70,000 million pesos to the system
Of that figure, the Nation’s contribution of 14 billion pesos has already been transferred. Of the other 14 billion, the District has turned 5,790 millionleaving an outstanding balance to be drawn of 8,240 million.
This was confirmed by the manager of Transmetro, Fernando Isaza, to EL TIEMPO, after recalling that the district administration had already been transferring resources to the system before this agreement with the National Government.
“The Mayor’s Office is going to end up delivering, with the 14,000 million from the Government, a total of about 70,000 million pesos to the system. The Mayor’s Office had already been transferring resources for 10,000 million, but as the Nation asked for a way to co-finance, the mayor made an addition of 4,000 more to that agreement, “explained the official.
Both parts are transferred by the Ministry of Finance and the District Finance Secretariat to the Fund for Transmetro Contingencies.
As considered in the report at the time, the Ministry of Transportation verified that Transmetro’s operational deficit was 45,015 million pesos “due to the restriction measures” in the capacity of vehicles to avoid contagion of covid-19.
The two stoppages between 2020 and 2021
We had a complex situation, which was largely covered by the FET. Let’s remember that this is a fund that is based on the TPC rate
It must be remembered that, between 2020 and 2021, this transport system stopped circulating on at least two occasions due to the illiquidity generated during the pandemic, according to the operators Sistur and Metrocaribe.
“The spread of the pandemic caused by covid-19 has had a negative economic effect on mass passenger transport systems due to the decrease in operations”, evidenced Minstransporte in the framework of the monitoring carried out by the Sustainable Urban Mobility Unit Group. (UMUS).
In this sense, despite the fact that the Ministry of Transport and the concessionaires indicate an “operational deficit”, Fernando Isaza preferred not to speak of a deficit, but of “difference in the technical rate and user rate”.
“We had a complex situation, which was largely covered by the FET. Let us remember that this is a fund that is based on the rate of the TPC (Collective Public Transport). In 2019 it was 200 pesos, in 2020, the AMB determined that the TPC system was given as part of the rate, last year we went to 100 pesos and we are waiting for the AMB to determine the new rate this year, aspiring to go back to 200 pesos,” he said.
He added that, with those resources paid by the citizens of Barranquilla and the metropolitan area, they would enter the FET and the system, which would help cover the spread and so Transmetro becomes sustainable.
The details of the signed co-financing agreement
Although article 28 of the Law 2155 of 2021 established, among other things, that the maximum amount to be co-financed by the national government will be 50 percent of the operating deficit, the Nation may cover up to 31.17 percent in each system.
The foregoing is due to the fact that, according to the General Directorate of State Participations of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, there are 1 billion pesos available and the deficit of the transport systems is more than 3 billion pesos.
Therefore, the agreement indicates that “the contributions of the District and the Nation destined to reduce the operational deficit, which is dealt with in article 28 of Law 2155 of 2021, will correspond in equal parts.”
Questions about allocated resources
Unfortunately, nothing else was raised about the difference between the technical rate and the user rate, and that is why Barranquilla only received 1.4 percent
However, the latter was questioned by the management of Transmetro who, in their opinion, the allocation of resources by the Nation it was not equitableproportional, nor balanced in comparison with the systems of the main cities of the country.
“We proposed to modify that distribution, for example, how we worked in 2019, how many we mobilized, in such a way that we were equal there. But that did not happen, unfortunately nothing else was raised about the difference between the technical rate and the user rate, and that is why Barranquilla only received 1.4 percent of the billion pesos,” said Isaza.
He recalled that, before the pandemic, Transmetro mobilized 145,000 users and in the first days of the pandemic it transported around 20,000 users. On February 7, 2022 accounted for 88,021 usersthe highest number recently.
“We are going to end up delivering around 70,000 million pesos to all the actors in the system. What they approved in the reform was an initiative of Barranquilla, in such a way that we could receive resources for all the massive systems, taking into account that it is an essential public transport”, closed Isaza.
(You may be interested in: The new Transmetro schedule that will take effect from February 14)
Sistur operator’s reaction
There are already complaints from users at the stations, because there are no vehicles. Transmetro has lacked foresight
Faced with this novelty, the manager of Sistur, José Emiro Picón, maintained that “it is urgent” that Transmetro and the District allocate the 8,000 million pesos pending to be able to carry out the fleet intervention.
“There are already complaints from users at the stations, because there are no vehicles. Transmetro has lacked foresight, teamwork and looking at the need that is being generated in universities, colleges and total presence in companies”, he said.
The director added that, to the extent that the resources are disbursed, all the fleet will be working In the next weeks.
As learned by this medium, the agreement has a duration in accordance with the maximum term stipulated for the realization of the last contribution and 12 more months, “unless the power of early termination is exercised.”
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