Havana's Iconic Regla Ferry Suspended Due to Technical Issues

Friday, May 24, 2024 by Alex Smith

Havana's Iconic Regla Ferry Suspended Due to Technical Issues
Little Boat of Regla (Reference Image) - Image © CiberCuba

The Havana Provincial Transportation Company has announced the temporary suspension of the popular Regla Ferry service since May 20 due to a technical malfunction. The state entity explained that the primary cause was "a failure in the boat's control system," which resulted in "the propeller detaching and falling into the water."

"Diving operations were conducted, but due to the turbulent waters caused by recent rains, the propeller could not be found, leading to the decision to replace the propeller," the statement continued.

Regarding the resumption of service, the company indicated that operations are expected to restart this Friday, but the public "will be duly informed in case of any further changes in the maritime transportation schedule, with date and time."

In the final segment, the Havana Provincial Transportation Company apologized for the inconvenience caused and provided a phone number and email address for "any complaints or requests."

In the comments section of the announcement, several netizens expressed their frustration over this latest disruption to the essential Regla Ferry service, a vital mode of transportation for some residents of the capital.

"Ridiculous! They suspend the service because the propeller falls into the water and they can't find it due to the turbulence. It sounds like a joke, but no, it's Cuba," one user commented indignantly.

"The oldest transportation service in the capital hasn't been what it used to be for a long time. As a resident of Regla, I know a single ferry isn't enough, and I feel scared when I board it because so many people use this form of transport, coming from other municipalities. They should have three ferries," another pointed out.

"Speechless, it could explode at any moment"; "It's the lack of attention and maintenance in everything"; "How long will these stories continue? What rains, if it only rained yesterday for ten minutes?"; "I imagine it's the underlying issue of unpaid wages. That's why nothing can be planned, and what breaks stays broken. What a sadness!" were other opinions shared.

As of the publication of this note, Cuban Minister of Transportation Eduardo Rodríguez Dávila, who is usually very active on social media, has not commented on the latest breakdown of the Regla Ferry.

Regla Ferry: A History of Challenges

In February, Rodríguez Dávila reported that only one of the six Regla ferries was operational due to "technical issues" with the other five and outlined expectations for the service's future.

The minister mentioned that three new engines and an additional repair kit, along with other resources, were expected to arrive by the end of March to expedite the repair of the grounded vessels, something that evidently has not happened.

He also stated that a second vessel was expected to be operational by the end of April, another in the second half of the year, and two more by early 2025, pending coordination with the shipyards.

Additionally, Rodríguez Dávila announced plans to deploy an auxiliary vessel, which would enable nighttime routes, although no specific timeline was provided.

The high-ranking official added that they were seeking alternatives through international collaboration to acquire additional vessels.

The journeys of the popular Regla Ferry, which connects three points in the bay: the Emboque de Regla, the Muelle de Luz, and Casablanca, were restored in mid-November after the reconstruction of the access gangway, which had previously forced a service interruption on September 22.

With a capacity of around 100 passengers, the Regla Ferry completes its route between Regla and the Muelle de Luz in about seven minutes.

The popular maritime route, which serves as a relief for those needing to travel between Regla and Old Havana, was also interrupted for part of the summer of 2023 due to repairs on the "bushing of the engine shaft line."

After resuming service, the ferry operated for a short time. In September, capital authorities announced another suspension to replace the old gangway with a new one, following numerous complaints about the deteriorated state of the access bridge, which endangered the safety of travelers boarding the ferry.

Common Questions About the Regla Ferry Suspension

Given the recent suspension of the Regla Ferry service and its impact on Havana residents, several questions have arisen. Below are some frequently asked questions and their answers.

Why was the Regla Ferry service suspended?

The service was suspended due to a technical failure in the control system, causing the propeller to detach and fall into the water. Efforts to retrieve the propeller were unsuccessful due to turbulent waters.

When is the Regla Ferry expected to resume operations?

The service is expected to resume this Friday. However, the public will be informed of any further changes in the schedule.

What measures are being taken to prevent future disruptions?

The transportation company plans to replace the detached propeller and has announced future acquisitions of new engines and vessels to improve service reliability.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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