Santa Maria la Menor

First Catedral of New World, located short distance from Hispaniola Spanish Language School More »

Orphanage Centro Roberto

Students visiting the orphanage in Boya, Dominican Republic with Hispaniola Spanish Language School More »

Palacio Nacional

Visit to National House, where President of Republic lives More »

Santa Maria la Menor

Night view of the beautiful cathedral More »

Hispaniola Spanish Language School

Coffee break at Hispaniola Spanish Language School More »

Reloj del Sol

Sundial from the time of the Spanish Colony. It is a fine show in Plaza de España More »

An hidden secret in Dominican Republic. More »

One of the best beaches in Dominican Republic and in the world. More »

 

Public Transportation in Dominican Republic I

Public transportation in Dominican Republic is kind of a mess for newbies..but imagine that people use it every day, to go

Motoconcho in Dominican Republic

Motoconcho in Dominican Republic

More than this it is the best way to know all the last news, happenings, comments and of course gossip… in public transportation conversacions are 360 and include any single passenger.

Lots of words have been written about how Dominican transportation is but I have never found a guide or an article about how Dominican transportation works.

For students at Hispaniola Spanish Language School we will try to give a general overwiev according to our experience but, any comments you may have..please feel free to write us. Our effort is to give you the basic understanding to be able to go around the cities and the island by your own.

Transportation in the Dominican Republic is not good. It works somehow and it respects some schedules sometimes (I mean that passengers reach any single spot in the island, no matter how far or isolated it is),  but it is not to be considered good by general standards. Tourists may find it funny or romantic or interesting, but please think about those people who are obliged to use such chaotic public transportation twice or more times per day.

Why is public transportation not good?  One reason is that the vehicles used are 90% old and dirty, drivers ignore most rules of transit, driving like they own the road and timing is not a priority. Dominican passengers use the system because they have to do so, but they certainly do not like it.

Most drivers are members of one of two big syndicates (there are a few independents), which have a lot of political power and social impact.

There have been many attempts to try to organize public transportation, but they always fail. There is a government office (OTTT-Oficina Tecnica Transporte Terrestre) that supervises fares, but does not seem to be able to do anything more. One of the last attempts to provide decent mass transportation to Dominicans was OMSA- Oficina Metropolitana de Servicios Autobuses, a public-held bus company created in 1997 with brand new buses, fixed routes, and dedicated traffic lanes. It is still operating, but failed to achieve its main target, which was to provide good transportation service.  In part it failed because of lack of financial support and because of the lobby of driver’s syndicates  that pretend to have a share of the OMSA.

An attempt was made in early 2006 to regulate carros públicos.  They have been divided in two groups (identified by their green or yellow painted tops) that operate on alternative days.  Most of the  cars now bear colors that indicate their route.. but not all.

Public Transportation ... Hispaniola Spanish Language School

Guagua in Dominican Republic

The next step in the government´s efforts to improve the quality of public transportation is theMetro (see also on wikipedia), which started its operations on early 2009 and so far ..it is really good…now works for a 2nd line already started…the only problem is that the budget seems something overloading for the actually administration in particular because they still have to absorb the financial effort for the set-up of the 1st line.

Also: the Santiago light rail system is a planned light rail system in the Dominican Republic’s second largest city, still in developing stages it was said to start on mid 2008 but right now is currently on hold due to lack of approval and of central government funds.

Let’s wait to see what will happen!

On the actual situation, the only transportation operators who offer high quality are the largest bus companies and Expresos (despite the maniacal way the latter are driven).

Anyway, we have to make use of what we have.  Thisis an attempt to explain the world of transportation in the Dominican Republic. Please remember, though, that everything here is in constant flux and that there is no rule that can’t be “adjusted.”  For example, if a driver thinks that it will be quicker to turn left instead of going straight ahead, he won’t hesitate to change his route at the spur of the moment. Another example:  If traffic is really heavy, it´s possible that the cobrador (I will explain later who exactly he is..) will add few pesos to the fare or that an Expreso will turn into a local in the middle of the route.

It is impossible to give you an exact picture of Dominican mass transportation because it is very dynamic and always in flux, but we can give you the information you need for a basic understanding. The rest you´ll come to understand in time by using various components of the system.

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