Update 3: New public transport provider to take over bus service on January 8

Update 3: New public transport provider to take over bus service on January 8

The deal for the takeover of the bus service by Spanish company Autobuses de Leon was wrapped up in the early hours of the morning, Times of Malta has learnt.

The new operator has agreed to pay €8 million for the purchase of Malta Public Transport Services, the state company that bought out Arriva for a nominal fee of €1 at the start of the year.

The government said Autobuses de Leon (Alesa) would take over on January 8 in what is expected to be a soft launch.

The company will be investing €40 million to operate the service, which will cover an additional three million kilometres each year.

The subsidy for 2015 will be €23 million but is expected to increase in 2016 once the new operator implements the full route network.

No details of the higher subsidy have been obtained as yet.

The company is expected to bring over 142 new buses by summer but will initially hire a number of buses to run the service.

The government said a copy of the agreement would be tabled in Parliament in the coming days.

In a statement this afternoon, the company said it will be adding 3,000 seats into the network, creating a 20% increase in capacity. It will also be recruiting additional drivers.

Director Felipe Cosmen said Alesa's bid for the contract was focused on improving customers’ experience and included a new fleet, new IT systems and improvements at terminals.

“I’m looking forward to working with existing colleagues and welcoming new staff and together delivering this vital contract to Malta...

“We trust in the current staff to achieve customer loyalty and provide a
transportation system close to the needs of the Maltese. We are
recruiting additional drivers to deliver the new network.”

Millions of passengers, he said, would benefit from thousands of extra
seats, new services and affordable tickets.


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