Another One Buys the Bus
May 12, 2013 – Day 660
Every Sunday, the School that our children attend sends out an email with all of their weekly news. Along with notices about the latest happening in Mr. X’s class or how darling the performance was by Mrs. Y’s oboe students, an item in today’s electronic communications caught my eye.
The School was announcing that it was auctioning off five of its school buses. Granted, only four of them are actually working but the School did provide a list of all the parts needed to get Bus#5 back up and running.
I read this announcement with chagrin because I couldn’t figure out who would buy a Ford F-70 bus, but then I remembered I currently live in Peru.
For a city of nearly nine million people, there are only two lines to ferry people to and fro courtesy of the government.
The leftover demand for road transportation (and there is a great deal of leftover demand) is taken up by private individuals. Private ownership of cars is growing by leaps and bounds in Peru, but I would contend that the bulk of people are transported from Point A to Point B courtesy of taxis and combis.
Combis, for those who need a refresher course, are basically privately owned buses of various sizes. Ranging in mass from small vans to mini vans to larger, combis travel along a set route and pick up/drop off passengers along the way. They – to my eyes – are always packed tighter than a Japanese subway. I have never partaken of a ride in a combi and I do believe it is one of the experiences I will skip out on as our time in Lima winds down.
Since a combi is privately owned, this means that a person has to shell out the money to purchase whatever vehicle they will be using. That could be one of the reasons our School is advertising the upcoming auction of buses. It’s not an auction so much as an opportunity for someone to become an entrepreneur.
Likewise, an owner can also sell their combi, which explains the “Se Vende” (For Sale) sign on this vehicle…
Final note – Just in case you’re wondering (and I highly doubt you were) about the circle with the “70” in the left-hand side of the picture, this means that the bus can only reach a top speed of 70 kilometers per hour (43 mph).