GSE: Rural Transportation Argentina, a collection of observations, by Brooke:
Since Santa Rosa, I have visited three additional cities in the Buenos Aires region. Trenque Luegen and Bolivar and Colonel Surueze. Santa Rosa has the most transportation services available to any of the communities we have visited however, it’s not to say that the other communities haven’t addressed their transportation needs in other ways.
Santa Rosa had a population of 102, 610 and had transportation system that included a fixed route system (see prior blog).
Trenque Luegen had a population of 40,000 and actually had no fixed route transit system, rather the municipality had a few buses designated to provide services to the schools, and senior center. A matter a fact, many of the community members said that meeting the needs of the elderly, disabled to access to health care, quality of life services was their responsibilities and could access the taxis and/or request assistance from their family members.
Bolivar had a population of 32,442 a beautiful community and like many of the others we visited was centered around a plaza. The community offered no transit, and I couldn’t find a taxi so I am assuming they didn’t exist. There were however a large amount vehicles, and unfortunately while I there I saw two crashes.
Colonel Suerez, has a population of 22,624 and had transit! Well, sorta. The services offered in Colonel Suerez were very few but present. The community has three neighboring unique German colonies, many of the community members commuted to Colonel Suerez and once in town they could connect to the fixed city route the circled the downtown area (which isn’t to big, but had a route nonetheless).
Colonel Suerez also had the largest Reebok factory in the world! We toured the factory and was amazed at the quantity of shoes that are produced and the amount of employees it takes to make 15,000 shoes a day! 3500 employees work at the Reebok factory in three eight hours shifts. The employees come from the three neighboring colonies and are transported there by Reeboks own bus or they bike. Actually, biking looked as the most popular form of getting around, even on the dirt and cobblestone streets. The young and old alike.
Reebok had quite a large bike storage area (see photo #). The Reebok factory campus was well organized and remarkable clean, we were unable to take photos of the inside but provided a few photos of the outside for you to view.
The trend with rural transit in Argentina is really no different then the states. The need for transit is evident and there exists transit but just like in Idaho, communities are spread out and very rural. The main employment and necessary services are located in the center of town. The communities we visited each recognized the need but also emphasized the responsibilities of the families to help provide for their family members.
I will say however, within each of the communities bicycling was used by all! Almost all bikes had baskets on the front and clearly were put to good use. I was delighted to see the number of elderly folks using bikes as a means to get around, navigating the streets and sidewalks with confidence in almost every city we visited.
Reebok Commuter Bus
Bike Storage Reebok
Bike Storage Reebok