Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Death on a bus

After yesterday's post about life on El Salvador's buses, today there is a tragic reminder of another aspect of El Salvador's buses -- they are often very unsafe. Thirteen people were killed and 47 wounded this morning as a bus plunged off the side of a road between Santa Ana and Metapan in northwestern El Salvador. Authorities blamed the accident on excessive speed by the driver. The accident comes six months after another bus accident caused by speeding killed 8 and wounded 83.


inner-self said...

so there you go. i complain more about the absurdity of the salvadoran judicial system because it overshadows the transport system. but they are equally unsafe, neglectful and extremely inneficient. i continue to suggest a light rail alternative for el salvador. even if it may seem unpractical or unrealistic.
transit accidents in el salvador are simply too rampant, too often and too dangerous just like criminal violence.

expatwizard said...

Sad, many "buseros" /bus drivers in El Salvador and neighboring Guatemala (both countries have high population density) race to get of other buses in order to increase their number of passengers, a few drivers, stressed out, take unprescribed meds or illegal substances to keep going. I realize how it is to drive distances or all day in maddening city congestion in Central America, the difference was I had my own vehicle and could stop and eat, drink and rest when required. Remember if you are from the USA or another developed country, there are terrible accidents involving the Greyhound and infrequent derailments on the Amtrak Rail system, the big difference is, those companies have Insurance and injured may sue for damages if driver/company at in Central America no...neither are most used vehicles insured at all..also beware crossing main streets, locals often run across major arteries and in many cases, if hit, the driver, if he or she is able, will flee, "hit and run", no taking responsibility for actions, no insurance of course. I was once on a Bus that hit an elderly man and "ran", I got off quietly next stop and went back to scene, advising authorites of plate number and Route No. of Bus, all I could do. A dear friend of mine's Father was killed by a Bus in San Salvador in this manner.
I advise the visitor to El Salvador who has not Travel Insurance and may have a few days to travel in and around El Salvador to either Rent a Car or hire a late model vehicle with local driver to escort you around, Beach, Countryside, Ruins, Colonial and Crafts towns, Volcanoes, Lakes all await..if you are on a very low budget and have a lot of time to spend, the bus is OK, just would advise those spending some time, 2 weeks or more, in El Salvador to purchase a cell phone, "handy", now as inexpensive as $15 with $6 of "saldo" included(TIGO), in case of emergency on the road one can contact friends or lodging in San Salvador, Santa Ana, etc. and call home to USA or Canada 10 cents a minute 24/7, Europe 60/80 cents minute or if you have Skype or other VOIP service, Cybercafes even in small towns everywhere throughout Central America.
Often, traveling in the Tropics, you or your group (best form a small group and share expenses)may have to spend a little money to save a lot of money, time and hassles. From the expat "travel wizard" in El Salvador.
***Gas Premium and Diesel now over $4.00USD a US Gallon in El Salvador
Most budget tour operators or driver/owners will request client pay fuel charges per day tour.
****San Salvador, aside from a few 'marginal areas' is fairly safe daylight hours and the Western part of the city from Metrocentro on to Santa Tecla is quite pleasant. Lots to see and do. With taxi or car and driver lots of varied nightlife...Bohemian sector near San Luis CC, Escalon, Zona Rosa and the new La Gran Via behind Multi Plaza Mall enroute to Santa Tecla and as for the rest of the country, quite safe, friendly and helpful people..message and I'll e mail you my El Salvador Travel "Bloq".
Travelling safe is all about common sense.
Saving money is great, but don't travel to underdeveloped countries thinking everything is "dirt cheap"
and don't start eating street food the minute you arrive, give your boday a few days..don't be a "tightwad"..but don't "overtip" good to yourself.
El Salvador well worth the journey, horror stories aside.

PS several years ago Spanish Govt. invested $5 Million feasability studies light rail..Metro Soyapango-Santa Tecla 26 km. The funds were pocketed by politicians, same a few years earlier with the Italian Govt. funded metro studies for Guate City, Guatemala
Going to take many many many years folks!!!!!
"Life in The Tropics"

Anonymous said...

I've done may a bus recovery-Cadaveres.. The worst being late 90s on the Troncal de la "muerte".

Anonymous said...

The best subway system in the world is the Hongkong MTR. Spotless, flawless and so safe.


Anonymous said...

why the people get on those buses, thats the problem if they ask for something better maybe theyll get it dont you think