The new stage of the quarantine in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (AMBA), which will last until July 17, started this Wednesday with a strong lock operation at the entrances to the City, which caused long lines of vehicles and delays at the entrance, and a cross between provincial and national officials. The first day was also marked by strong controls on passengers at transfer centers, train terminals, subways and buses, which can only be used by those who processed the new movement permit for essential workers. All these measures, added to the 50 percent drop in driving permits, caused the use of public transport in the AMBA to decrease by 8.7 percent compared to Last week, 42 percent fewer vehicles traveled on the city’s highways at rush hour and the streets of Buenos Aires were much more empty than in recent days.
From midnight on Wednesday, the new Unique Circulation Enablers Certificate (CUHC) for essential workers began to take effect in what is a hard return to quarantine in the AMBA, after the accelerated increase in cases of coronavirus registered in the last 20 days in this area, and at the risk of collapse of the City and Buenos Aires health system. Of this permits, just over two million, of the more than five that were in force, were renewed.
Despite this sharp reduction, with the closure of most of the accesses to the capital, and the intensified controls at the checkpoints to verify drivers’ circulation permits, by the Federal Police and the National Gendarmerie, traffic jams were generated and delays in the different points enabled for admission. The Ministry of Security reported that 1,200 troops intervened in the control operation that included bridges, accesses and tolls around the city, and another 2,500 in the control of the 241 AMBA train stations.
The armor produced long lines of vehicles at the Pueyrredón Bridge, La Noria Bridge, Panamericana and General Paz and in Acceso Oeste, as well as on the Buenos Aires-La Plata Highway. While the congestion of private vehicles was concentrated in Puente Pueyrredón, on the Pan-American highway and General Paz, the greatest conflict occurred in Puente La Noria, where the line of vehicles stretched 10 kilometers. This particular traffic jam was at the center of the news because it generated an intervention by the Buenos Aires Minister of Security, Sergio Berni, who tried to solve the problem, which was not under his command but by the Federal, and ended in a new short circuit with the Ministry of National Security.
In any case, beyond the traffic jams, the figures showed a significant reduction in traffic in the city. As detailed by the Buenos Aires Department of Transportation on the motorways of the City, 10,000 vehicles circulated in the early hours of the morning, representing 42% less than the previous week, and 37% less than the traffic before the start of the preventive isolation. Towards the end of the day, those figures rose to 107,000 vehicles, which means 30% less than the day before and 33% less than last week.
On the other hand, in that same time slot, the sensors that the Secretary of Transportation has in the main avenues of Buenos Aires registered a circulation of 140 thousand vehicles, a drop of 19 percent in the last 24 hours, which means a drop of 35 per percent from last Wednesday. While on the subway, although the drop was less than just 2 percent compared to Tuesday, the number of passengers remains low: it carried 52 thousand passengers, representing 5% of the usual volume that traveled before quarantine. , when the 6 lines and the metro transport 1,112,000 passengers daily.
97 thousand trips were made on the train, a decrease of 19% compared to last week, and 88% less than before the social isolation began. Meanwhile, the groups, which make 80% of the trips made by public transport, transported 1,847,000 passengers, a drop of 11% compared to last Wednesday, and represents 20% of the people who traveled one day. usual before quarantine. The Ecobici system also registered a significant drop: it counted 724 trips, 70% less than last week.
The main avenues of access to the Buenos Aires center showed a similar panorama to that of the rest of the arteries in the first day of hardening of the isolation, which included the closure of shops and the restriction for outdoor sports outings, after the accelerated increase in infections in the AMBA, which concentrates 97 percent of the total cases registered in the country.
In this sense, the undersecretary of Information Management, Education and Fiscalization of the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health, Leticia Ceriani, said that the tightening of the quarantine in AMBA is “the only way to re-flatten the curve and avoid saturation of the system ” And she warned that the abrupt rise in the curve of cases and the occupation of beds, “are indicators that concern us and that is why we have been raising the need to take a measure. We projected that in 20 days we could be in a