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Interview with Eliécer Rojas Flores, Rojas Castro Manager
“The pricing system was made by people sitting at desks.”
By Emiliana García

Eliécer Rojas, mechanical engineer for 30 years and soon-to-be first time father, assumed the general management of Rojas Castro Shipping Company, better known as Traroc, in January of 2010. A kind and open character, he was happy to respond to users’ complaints in the public meeting held in Samara on June 8th, and he also commented on the irregularities of buses that travel to Nosara.

What does the business want to achieve?
To be very vigilant over public service and, more than what we want to be, we have a contract with the Counsel of Public Transportation (CTP) that dictates the norms that one must achieve within a business. But if you ask me what our goal is, the business wants to be a leader in the transportation market.

With regard to this contract with the CTP that you mentioned, your business just recently renewed a concession contract. When it was renewed?
We began processing the signing of the concession contract in 2007; it was renewed two months ago.

At the moment of accepting or denying an increase in rates, the Regulating Authority of Public Utilities (ARESEP) takes into account the capital investment of buses. An urban bus has an investment cost of $85,000 and a medium intercity bus has a cost of $130,000. In your report, you say that they are utilizing medium intercity buses for the trips to Nosara, when in reality the users do not perceive it that way.
First, it does not matter if one says that they have luxury buses, because ARESEP does an internal audit. If I say that it’s a medium intercity route and I’m using urban buses, they are going to take the urban buses from me to do the econometric study.

If we buy the 5 medium intercity units that should go to Nosara right now, then the rate goes up 200% and ARESEP immediately tells us that it cannot give that rate.

So are you saying that if they change the fleet of buses that go to Nosara with the ones that should go, the rate would have to rise 200%?
No, they are not exact numbers….but I do believe that the problem stems from the fact that the pricing system was made by people sitting in a desk who do not have a real analysis of the routes, such as that of Nosara. Traroc informs ARESEP (on June 7th) that medium intercity buses cannot be used due to the state of the route.

Nevertheless in all these years you sent urban buses to Nosara when the law states that they should be intercity?
Yes, the law is not complied with because of the conditions of the road. We can send a medium intercity bus to Nosara whenever the road gets fixed. If we send one of those buses there now, what is most likely to happen is that it will get stuck on the way to the high school.

Your buses are out of service either way…
We are in agreement. But it’s because once the bus is more than 7 years old, it is worth nothing to ARESEP. They require that we have ramps worth $10,000 in all the units in 2014, we have to transport senior citizens for free, and we have to put some small machines worth a thousand dollars in each unit. All these types of investments are a means by which the business expects to be benefited.

Is the qualification of your company in the Counsel of Public Transportation known?
It is unknown; you would have to ask the Council. If you ask me, I believe that we are complying with 80%.

That do you think about the comments made by the bus users in the public meeting?
Everything that was said there is a reality. For us as businessmen, it’s oftentimes very difficult to give us an account of what happens inside the bus. I believe it was something positive because they told us that we have lost our image, and the users opened our eyes.

Bus Users Now to Pay More!

People who use Transportes Rojas, Traroc, will have to pay 40% more as of July 1st.
On June 17th the Regulating Authority Regulation Committee agreed to adjust the rates, enforcing an increase of 39.78% for the route 548 described as: Nicoya-Belén-Nosarita-Sámara-Puerto Carrillo-El Carmen de Hojancha-Estrada and Nicoya-Sámara-Bocas de Nosara and vice versa, operated by Transportes Rojas Castro S. A.
According to the request the company presented in May, the rate increase is necessary because “the rates in force are completely ruinous and they do not cover the costs of service operation.”


More Regional News

More Regional News

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