Two new buses have been bought at a cost of more than half a million euros. The buses will be added to existing stock to improve the bus service in the town. Each bus offers 49 places as well as a double ramp for access. They have GPS and inside the bus there will be information for passengers about the next stop. The buses have internal LED lighting, WIFI and USB connection.
The councillor for transport in Torrevieja, Javier Manzanares, explained that this was part of a package of improvements to the local bus service. There has been some debate about the allocation of the bus service contract. The purchase of the buses is a move by the current transport company to continue to provide bus services in the town.
The bus service in Torrevieja is currently run by Grupo Avanza who are a Mexican multinational firm who acquired Costa Azul. The manager of Grupo Avanza, Luis González, explained, ‘It’s just one more step in improving the service which we want to develop in a progressive way.’
The town hall has openly shared its ambitions to take over the public transport and waste disposal services in the town. In the long term such a move could lead to substantial savings and increased efficiency but difficulties arise because of the need for huge investment to purchase the vehicles needed.
The announcement about the two new buses is in spite of Grupo Avanza being aware of this possibility and the fact that there is no contract for their services at the moment. ‘These new buses are the result of our commitment to the city,’ explained González.
The current bus service is free to residents of Torrevieja but there are problems with its frequency and the number of routes available. Currently eight lines operate in the town and those using the service report frustrations with the timing of the buses and the routes they take. The two new buses are already in operation and are at least an indication that something is being done to improve the service.