The number of passengers will rise to more than 9.7 million

Pedro Alavarez, chairman of the EMT (Palma's municipal bus company) yesterday announced major changes in routes 1, 6, 15, 17, 23 and 25, which will come into force from tomorrow. He added that the changes would lead to an increase in passengers, and that those six routes would carry more than 9.6 million passengers. Alvarez explained that the number of buses covering the number 17 route would be increased from two to six, and it would carry 1'120'000 passengers. Route 23 (Cala Blava-Eusebio Estada), which will have four instead of two buses, will carry 525'000 passengers while routes 1 and 25 will have an extra bus each and will carry 725'000 passengers. Passengers on Line 6 will increase to 206'664, and the Number 15, with the same number of buses as at present, will carry more than 7.1 million passengers compared to the current 5.7 million. The Number 1 will provide a direct link between the port and airport between 6am and 3am. The Number 17 (Can Pastilla-Plaza Reina) will no longer go to the airport. The Arenal express (26) will be discontinued. The aim of the improvements is, according to Alvarez, to improve the service on Lines 15, 17 and 23, which cover the Playa de Palma-Arenal-Can Pastilla route, where demand rises by 15 per cent in the summer. Alvarez said that the changes were being made to make the best use of resources, provide a day and night time service to the Paseo Marítimo and increase the number of passengers. Improvements introduced this year, Alvarez explained, included new lines such as the Number 2, which was used by 105'000 passengers this year; the 4 and 6, with a 20 and 35 per cent increase in passsengers respectively; more buses on the Numbers 7 and 8; a new route for the Number 14 to Son Llátzer hospital and the airport bus, the Number 25, which has seen a 75 per cent increase in passengers. Alvarez also said that some services had to be reduced on Sunday because of incidents on Saturday (the equivalent of April Fool's), when windows were broken and eggs were thrown at vehicles.

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