Puerto Rico's very American love of cars is jamming its recovery

Jonathan Levin, Margaret Newkirk and Emma Ockerman, Bloomberg News on

Published in Weather News

Before Hurricane Maria hit, tens of thousands converged on San Juan every day from neighboring municipalities to work. In the coming days and weeks, the unloved bus system may be one of their few options, though it could add hours to people's commutes.

Eight bus routes started Friday, and that number was expected to increase on Monday. Tren Urbano is "a different story," because the island first has to re-establish electricity, and authorities don't yet know when that will happen, said Carlos Contreras Aponte, executive director of the roads and transportation authority.

Some residents said they'll skip even the limited public transport that's available. Rivera, one of those waiting in line for gas in San Juan, said there simply isn't a route that makes sense for her. She'd end up walking 45 minutes and arrive sweaty at work. For that, she blamed politicians and their broken promises.

"It's a combination of poor planning and politics," she said. "Everything is politics."

(With assistance from Jordyn Holman)


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