Thousands of citizens of the northern Mexican state of Nuevo León are facing a tough challenge to get to their jobs on time due to restrictions on public transportation during the coronavirus emergency.
Between long lines and crowded units, users can only use public transportation five hours in the morning and six hours in the evening, due to restrictions on the subway and urban buses established by the state government.
In order not to have to walk home, Ana Esteban waited punctually at 15:00 local time (20:00 GMT) for the Cuauhtémoc metro, in downtown Monterrey, the state capital, to open its doors.
“Yesterday I did not know that there was not going to be a subway and no peseras (vans) and I came walking,” the resident of the municipality of García, more than 30 kilometers from the capital, told Efe.
Neither the subway workers were taken into consideration due to the tightening of measures, as they still have to travel to their jobs, before and after the subway closes its doors.
“Right now just to come or take a taxi or we walk and we walk,” said a Metrorrey employee to Efe who requested anonymity in fear of losing his job.
“I am telling him what all the people would like to tell him because the workers were not taken into account,” says this employee.
Divided into three 8-hour shifts, workers do not have special transportation to go to the 32 stations of the Monterrey Metro.
Noé Chávez, director of the Nuevo León Mobility Institute, assured Efe that Metro workers “have no problem” and celebrated that with this new restriction mobility in the state was reduced.
“They arrive here at the stations because all the subway employees are located near their work,” he said.
Miguel Garduño, a technician at a communications company, called the measure “ignorant” for not taking into account the realities of thousands of employees in essential sectors who are now also dealing with crowds in transport units.
“There are places like (the municipality of) San Pedro where the entrances are restricted to do certain jobs for some workers and if you enter the municipality there are people running, cycling, without any type of security,” he said.
“Yesterday we were in well-packed trucks, almost on top of each other,” María de los Ángeles Manzanares, who takes two buses to get to her job as a cook in San Pedro, where since last week the entrance to people by their physical appearance or the car in which they travel.
Nuevo León has also stood out nationally with advanced measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as the closure of shops and public squares, the mandatory use of mouthguards, the installation of sanitary filters and the “drive tru” testing service.
Until April 28, 14 deaths and 646 infections have been confirmed in Nuevo León, 313 validated by the Institute of Diagnostic and Epidemiological Reference (INDRE) of the Mexican capital.
The country accumulates 16,752 cases and 1,569 deaths.