Arriva avoids questions, humour takes over
Arriva today avoided questions on whether there would be compensation for passengers injured in yesterday's three-bus crash in Floriana.
Meanwhile, some people were seeing the lighter side of things, with meme making the rounds on Facebook.
Experts from the Resources Ministry this morning inspected the damage caused to Portes des Bombes after one of the buses crashed into it yesterday.
The bus dislodged a number of stones as it crashed into the structure, but the damage was caused to a flat surface at the back of the gate and can be repaired easily.
Talks will be held with the bus company on funding the costs, a ministry spokesman said.
Arriva did not reply to questions on whether injured passengers would be compensated in any way.
Asked whether it was affected by the buses taken out of service, Arriva said bus services today were operating normally.
"Our primary consideration remains the condition of any person injured, among them our employees. Meanwhile, the cause of the incident remains unknown and we continue to fully cooperate with the Maltese authorities in the investigation. We will comment further on this matter once the facts have been ascertained fully," the company said.
The Arriva spokesman also did not reply to questions on driver training, which many have blamed for yesterday's accident, which took place following a light drizzle.
AUSTIN GATT: DISAPPOINTED BY ARRIVA MANAGEMENT
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Austin Gatt told TVAM this morning that although 75% of people had said in a survey that they were satisfied with the bus service, the government was not satisfied with the management of the company.
He also expressed disappointment wiht the communications function of Arriva Malta.
IN DEFENCE OF DRIVERS
An experienced driver, today jumped to the defence of the drivers involved in yesterday's crash.
Joseph Vassallo told timesofmalta.com that he was on a bus (route 31) at the time the accident happened.
The road was wet due to a light drizzle a few minutes before.
"Our driver was being extremely cautious because of the dangerous, slippery road conditions.
We passed Portes-des-Bombes and went through the underpass and proceeded down the hill (towards Msida).
"When we came to the bend (where the old Gasan showroom used to be), the bus lost traction at the front and the driver was competent enough to deal with the skid and line up his vehicle again. But as he continued to manoeuvre the bus round the rest of the bend (the road slopes and cambers unavoidably the wrong way) we lost traction at the rear wheels. Once again, he countered the skid.
"Being an experienced driver, I understood what the driver was having to deal with and I have to say that he handled it very professionally. I was so impressed with his performance that I congratulated him when I got off his bus at Bugibba.
"I do not understand why or accept that the drivers of the buses (involved in the accident) are being blamed by nearly all and sundry who have written in to comment on the story about the accident.
"Ours was an Arriva driver too and he handled our predicament faultlessly. He moreover expected no thanks or recognition for his expertise and was surprised that one of his passengers showed appreciation.
"Somehow, even though I am no regular defender of Arriva or their staff, I feel I should bring this event to your attention so that maybe, just maybe, your readers do not hang and quarter the unfortunate drivers who may have been compelled to take sudden braking or manoeuvring reactions because of other traffic conditions that our driver did not face.