June 22th, 2024 | 5:32


RENFE Bilbao workers explain the service disaster

Laura Rangel Ybarra

September 14, 2023 | 3:00 p.m.

Disaster in RENFE: A frustrating routine for users

Bilbao – The sight of the word “CANCELLED” on the information panels of Renfe Cercanías has become painfully familiar to Bilbao. Every day, a tide of workers and students encounter this reality that disrupts their routines and plans.

The works council raises its voice

According to data provided by the works council of Renfe Bizkaia, during the summer period up to 6.230 incidents have been registered. This results in canceled trains and numerous delays, causing serious inconvenience to users.

The words of Fernando Rueda

In a recent interview with Ferdinand Wheel, president of the aforementioned committee, has indicated the need for at least 30 additional drivers. But beyond the personnel deficit, Rueda warns about the poor state of the infrastructure and the obsolescence of rolling stock.

Causes of the crisis

The committee has been explicit about the causes of the current problem:

  • Lack of personnel in various areas, from workshops to driving.
  • Increase in the number of breakdowns due to the advanced age of the trains in circulation.
  • Inadequate conditions at the Bilbao Ollargan Maintenance Base, where both spare parts and adequate infrastructure are scarce.
Renfe Cercanías users arrive at the platform and find the word CANCELADO next to the train that they usually take to go to work or to return home.

The situation of the trains

It is common to find trains without basic services such as air conditioning or public address systems. In addition, breakdowns that paralyze a train in the middle of the track have become alarmingly frequent, leaving passengers trapped for hours.

The institutional response

The works council of Renfe commuter trains It is clear when stating that the root of the problem lies in the lack of institutional commitment, especially from the Spanish Ministry of Transport. They denounce a lack of investment and poor management that has brought the quality of service to historic lows.

future actions

Conversations with the Company's Management have not been fruitful. From the committee, they warn that "other types of measures" could be taken. Although they are not detailed, the question arises as to whether there could be mobilizations or even strikes.

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