Updated: Arriva reiterates commitment as GRTU brands it a 'disaster'
Arriva this evening reiterated its commitment to further improve the bus service, hours after the GRTU described its service as a 'disaster'
In its regular circular to members, the GRTU lashed out at the service provided by Arriva and demanded government action.
"GRTU was the National Organisation that backed the reform of the public transport system. Malta badly needed a new public transport system as the old one was not only archaic but beyond reform. When Arriva came GRTU did its best to cooperate believing that a better and more modern transport system could ease the tremendous traffic problems that Malta is facing," it said.
"There is only one word that can describe Arriva today. It is a disaster.
One year after, the problems that were there, and that all of us optimists believed to be temporary, have now not only become permanent but the delays
and inefficient service have actually increased."
The GRTU said hardly a day passed without it receiving complaints and stories of incredible misbehaviour by Arriva personnel.
"There is never an excuse for bad service. We have given up complaining because Arriva gives the impression that they simply do not care. It is obvious that Arriva is incapable of resolving its own problems. Its bad management goes beyond any reasonable comprehension. It is now up to Government to take serious action. Malta cannot simply afford any more this lousy service. Malta deserves much much better," the GRTU said.
In a reaction, Arriva said that it remained committed to provide the Maltese Islands public transport services of the highest quality.
"Arriva offers the most extensive bus service that was ever available on the Maltese Islands, with services that cover in excess of 73,000 kms every week, operating night services, buses schedules that run almost 24hrs, environment-friendly buses and the resources of an international group that has enabled it to face all challenges it has encountered and continuously develop its operations."
Arriva’s Interim Managing Director Dave Kaye said the company would continue working to reach the standards that it, and its commuters expected.
“Arriva reiterates its willingness and availability to sit at the discussions table and collaborate with any entity and/or individual who shares the same objectives of delivering commuters in Malta an ever-improving bus service."
Mr Kaye said he was never contacted by the GRTU, whom he was ready to meet for a discussion.
SERVICE STANDARD MANAGERS
Earlier today Arriva said that it was putting more Service Standard Managers on its network and enhancing its ticketing system as protection against fraud.
It explained that the role of the Service Standard Managers (SSMs) was to ensure that customers and employees enjoyed a secure journey and a safe work environment.
"On a daily basis, SSMs fan out across the public transport network performing random inspections and checks on various routes and at various times of the day. Service Standard Managers look out for possible infringements, abuses, misconducts and/or unwanted behaviour by passengers and also by Arriva employees, with an aim to guaranteeing a public transport service that is continuously in line with the standards that the Maltese Islands deserve and that Arriva wants to deliver."
Arriva said it would also be introducing a new ticketing medium comprising a number of security enhancements that would provide Maltese passengers checks and controls against fake tickets.
"When you pay for something or purchase something, you want to make sure that you are getting the appropriate product. This is true for any kind of purchase, and it is true also for commuters. We want to give Maltese passengers not only safe travel, comfort and convenience but also security on the bus and off the bus when buying one of our tickets. That is why we have decided to invest in a new security-enhanced ticket medium and a wider network of SSMs. These solutions will offer our customers and our employees, the peace of mind they deserve when travelling on Maltese bus routes," the company said.
ARRIVA SPECIAL SERVICE FOR STA MARIJA
Arriva also announced today that it would be operating extra services in Gozo for the feast of Sta Marija.
Extra buses will be operating between Marsalforn and Victoria on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The extra service from Marsalforn to Victoria will run at 11.45pm and again at 1 a.m. and can be boarded using the regular day ticket.
Arriva will also operate additional buses in Malta on the routes to Cirkewwa.