Torrevieja is tendering for the purchase of 32 buses destined for the new urban transport service at a cost of 16 million euros. The decision is based on its willingness to award the management of the service to a company. However, the transport firm that finally wins the contract will no longer have to assume the purchase of a new fleet of vehicles which will be done through the municipal budget with public money. The company that is awarded the service will be responsible purely for the management.
The new service plans to reduce waiting times by 50%
The conditions for the tender include an delivery term of 12 months with vehicles arriving on a regular basis until all 32 have been received. All the buses will be hybrid, except for four that will be exclusively electric.
The mayor of Torrevieja, Eduardo Dolón, (PP) has said that the City Council has adopted this decision because it has ample financial capacity to cover it, and although maintenance will be carried out by the winning company, the buses will be municipal property.
The mayor also said that the management mode is still to be fully approved, but he specified that the municipal commitment will be one of indirect management. The purchase of these buses is one of the most important direct investments in the history of Torrevieja.
Both opposition parties, Los Verdes and Sueña Torrevieja, expressed their surprise about the acquisition, which apart from a brief allusion by the spokesman for the governing board Federico Alarcón last Friday, had not previously been announced by the team of government with anything like the amount of publicity that is usually used in matters of this magnitude.
The current agreement is without a contract and has been with Costa Azul (Grupo Avanza) for more than eight years. Despite being free for registered residents, it has attracted complaints from users due to its deficiencies in the organization of the service, low frequency of passage, long waits at stops and the state of the shelters and waiting areas.
The new urban bus project contemplates 9 lines, one of them circular, three interchanges including Habaneras/Carrefour and another in the Hospital, three nocturnal owl bus lines between July and September and improvements in information for users.
However, an ordinary ticket will cost 1.35 euros for all travellers, with the exception of pensioners who can use it for free.