PEDRO Alvarez, the chairman of the EMT (municipal transport company) announced yesterday that the new tourist bus will be launched in May. It will be the number 50 and will be known as Bus Ciutat. But while the EMT will have control of the line, the actual service will be provided by another company. This decision has already been widely criticised by the unions, who claim that it is the first step in a process of privatisation. Alvarez said that three projects had been submitted by three different companies, and these will be studied by the EMT. Final approval will be given by the EMT's administration board. Various criteria will be taken into account when evaluating the offers, Alvarez said yesterday. They will include a maintenance plan, fares and staff training, he added. The EMT has recently renewed its fleet of buses, and has introduced modifications in some routes in an effort to attract more passengers. Not all the changes have won widespread approval however, the chief complaints involve changes to the airport bus which now goes to the port.

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