New vehicles will cover Illetas and Arenal routes

The first of the new buses with which the EMT (Municipal Transport Company) is renovating its fleet will hit the streets on Tuesday. According to EMT chairman Pedro Alvarez, the new buses will be used on the routes 3 (to Illetas) and 15 (Arenal), which are the most heavily saturated lines. Alvarez pointed out that the rest of the buses will arrive at intervals between now and June 30, when the renovation of the fleet will be completed. In all there will be 102 new Mercedes buses, 80 of them 12 metres long, 20 of them articulated and 18 metres long, and two nine metre electric buses which will be used in the city centre. The EMT will keep the 30 most modern of its existing fleet, which means that it will have 130 buses compared to 96 at present. The 60 oldest buses will be donated to countries such as Cuba. The new fleet is the backbone of the company's plan to modernise which includes a new logo and colours (blue and grey). It also plans to build a new office for attending the public in the centre of the city, new headquarters and a new maintenance department. The routes of the buses will not change over the next few months, nor will any new routes be introduced, although there are plans for a bus which will follow the ring road and one for the historical centre. However, before making a final decision on routes, the company wants to have a report on mobility, in order to cover needs. With the introduction of the new buses, it is hoped that waiting times will be reduced. The buses are quieter, more ecological, adapted to the needs of the disabled and do not carry advertising. The EMT has not purchased the buses but is leasing them under a contract which costs 1'050 million pesetas a year. At present, the council is spending 1'500 million pesetas a year in maintaining a fleet of buses which are on average 13 years old. The contract also includes renovating the bus stops.

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